Do prosecutions outside the UK affect sentencing in the courts of England and Wales?

The 2009 case of R v Bodycote HIP UK contains an important warning to multinational organisations in the UK in relation to the impact of health and safety prosecutions against their branches abroad.

Two of Bodycote’s employees working at the company’s Hereford manufacturing plant were found collapsed on the stairs leading to a concrete-lined pit into which argon gas had leaked. The two employees subsequently died of asphyxiation. The investigation discovered that the ventilation systems for the pit were not operational and that the low-oxygen-level warning mechanisms had been disabled. The company was fined £533,000 and ordered to pay costs of £200,000, amounts it unsuccessfully sought to reduce on appeal.

Although a very tragic case for all concerned, the fact pattern is not in itself particularly noteworthy apart from a small but significant feature. The court considered, and gave substantial weight to, the fact that a similar incident had occurred a few years earlier, which had led to the death of two employees at a HIP plant in California, US…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Withers briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in

Register

It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer

 

Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.

 

Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.

 

Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Withers

  • Family law revolution

    22 April 2014 marked ‘the largest reform of the family justice system any of us have seen or will see in our professional lifetimes’, according to the president of the Family Division.

  • A day out with the Charity Tax Group

    Withers’ Graham Elliott discusses the points he found most interesting from this year’s Charity Tax Group annual meeting.

View more briefings from Withers

Analysis from The Lawyer

Browse This Firm’s

Overview

16 Old Bailey
City of London
London
EC4M 7EG
UK

Turnover (£m): 123.30
No. of lawyers: 313