Work related fatal accidents are initially investigated by the police to determine whether the criminal offences of murder or gross negligence manslaughter may have been committed. While murder involves a deliberate planned act an accidental death may be the result of gross negligence manslaughter. Unlike the offence of corporate manslaughter gross negligence manslaughter is an offence with personal responsibility and liability. The penalty may be a fine (potentially unlimited) or a prison sentence.
In order to sustain a case of gross negligence manslaughter the prosecution has to prove that;
1. the person charged with the offence owed a duty of care to the deceased;
2. there was a breach of that duty of care which;
3. caused (or significantly contributed) to the death of the victim; and
4. the breach was grossly negligent.
Any director, manager or supervisor could be charged with gross negligence manslaughter if these four conditions are met.