Taking Care - Loss Prevention News Supplement
This supplement to the Loss Prevention News covers accidents involving large fines as well as information on regulations including crew contracts, stowaways and personal injury litigation.
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The first topic covered by this issue is:
Accidents involving large fines
An English company received a record fine following an accident that cost seven lives
Recently an English railway company was fined a record £1.5 million (US$2,400,000) for a criminal offence arising out of a rail crash that killed 7 people and injured 150. The fine was the largest imposed on an individual company.
The previous record was £1.2 million, although four companies were fined a total of £1.7 million following the collapse of an elevated walkway to ferries at Ramsgate in 1994 in which six people died. These large fines stand in addition to the compensation claims made by the injured or the dependants of those killed, to legal fees, court costs and other related expenditure.
Shipowners whose ships are involved in accidents occurring in England may well have to face similar heavy fines to those faced by English companies found guilty under Health and Safety at Work regulations.
Such fines flow from prosecutions initiated by the Health and Safety Executive. Although the Executive has jurisdiction over maritime incidents, investigations and prosecutions involving maritime incidents are usually overseen by the Marine and Coastguard Agency which is entitled to pursue criminal charges under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
Any major incident involving a ship in the United Kingdom will be investigated by the MCA; the Agency will consider both the facts giving rise to the event itself and whether or not there is any criminal culpability on the part of those involved.