Steel firm facing corporate manslaughter charge

Health & Safety update - 6/7/2011

Greater Manchester Police has been advised to charge a steel company with corporate manslaughter.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has confirmed that it has advised the police department to uphold the charge against the Manchester-based Lion Steel Ltd.

The charge comes following the death of a male employee in 2008. Steven Berry fell through a fragile roof panel, suffering severe injuries. He later died as a result of the fall.

Alongside the charge being levied against the firm, three of Lion Steel's directors, Graham Coupe, Richard Williams and Kevin Palliser, will be charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

Coupe, Williams and Palliser will also be prosecuted under Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for their failure to ensure the safety of their staff members. Lion Steel will also be prosecuted for the same failing under Sections 2 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Reviewing lawyer in the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, Alison Storey, said, “I have taken this decision after very carefully reviewing the material gathered in the police investigation and have concluded that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to bring these charges.”

Lion Steel Ltd will appear at Tameside Magistrates’ Court on 2 August this year for the first hearing.

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