WTF!* – Personal Liability

Why telematics fail
WTF!* – Strategy – Do you have one?
3rd December 2018
Why telematics fail
WTF!* – Risk Register
17th December 2018

WTF!* – Personal Liability

Why telematics fail

You are unaware of Director Responsibilities

Forgive us, this one could get scary if you’re not prepared.  Are you aware of the guidelines for health & safety offences and corporate manslaughter cases?

No? Brace yourself. You might think that you know all about health and safety legislation. After all, it’s been around for a good few years now.  However, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act has been in force since April 2008 and it’s scary how many directors remain blissfully unaware of what it means for their business.  The Act doesn’t add anything to existing health and safety law, but it changes the way that evidence is looked at if you’re prosecuted for a health and safety offence which has resulted in a death. If the Court believes that you don’t take health and safety seriously you could find yourself in serious trouble. Are you part of a culture that promotes safety or do you push it aside to get the job done more quickly?

Whilst the corporate manslaughter laws don’t allow for individuals to be prosecuted, gross negligence manslaughter laws do. That could land you in prison.

Why is this important?

  • The Courts are taking a prescriptive approach – they’re not interested in excuses.
  • The criteria for establishing the scale of ‘fault’ is stricter & better defined – a corporate manslaughter charge can result from any health and safety breach that causes a death.
  • Upper limits of fines dramatically increased – fines are now unlimited.
  • Scale of fines directly linked to turnover and they’re meant to hurt.
  • Custodial sentences more likely & more severe in gross negligence manslaughter cases.
  • The Court can order you to publicise the conviction. Imagine telling your customers that your health and safety breaches killed someone.

There are also aggravating factors that could increase the penalties.  These can be anything from a failure to adopt recognised industry standards to signs that you were made aware of a potential problem.  If you’re putting profit before safety you could find yourself in very serious trouble.  So far the fines have ranged from £10,000 up to £4 million.  Individuals have faced fines of 50% of their weekly salary right up to 18 months in prison.

What does this have to do with telematics?

Your telematics can act as your early warning system.  A judge won’t want to hear that you had telematics but didn’t spot a potentially fatal problem because you weren’t using it properly.  Your data can tell you when your vehicles are being driven dangerously. You can change routes to help your drivers avoid getting angry and frustrated because they’re stuck in a traffic jam.  It can even help you to identify drivers who might be struggling.

When you manage a fleet you’re sending potentially lethal weapons out on the road every day.  When the stakes are that high, don’t you think it’s time you paid attention to the data?

 

 

Paul Cochrane
Paul is the Managing Director of Vtec Solutions. He has expertise in vehicle tracking and fleet management, spanning over a decade and prides himself in understanding business fleet challenges and ensuring fleets are running at their optimum.