No Doubt

Key Themes

  • Safety management
  • Incident reporting
  • Corporate manslaughter liability
  • Responsibility

Target Audience

Senior management, management.


When an employee at the Cytogen Pharmaceutical laboratories dies as a result of carbon dioxide poisoning, the ensuing investigation looks much higher up the corporate ladder for answers than the management were expecting. Who is responsible? Where does the buck actually stop? And who will ultimately be held accountable in the eyes of the law?


David: So if someone opened a box on Friday the dry ice would have all weekend to sublimate, driving down the oxygen level.

Thomas: That’s what it looks like.

Sonia: Have you reviewed your Standard Operating Procedures?

Thomas: Yes. Of course in this case the procedures weren’t followed.

Sonia: But no-one is admitting responsibility.

Thomas: No.

Sonia: Tom, when this goes to court you will of course receive support from our legal


Thomas: Sorry?

David: It’s usual in cases of fatalities in the workplace for a prosecution to be brought.

Thomas: But I won’t be personally liable?

David: You are the Head of the laboratory.

Thomas: But – we have safety professionals – surely it’s their responsibility?

Sonia: As overall head of facility the HSE is likely to hold you responsible.

Thomas: But – that’s hardly fair!

David: As I say you will be well supported, and as long as you can show that people failed to follow procedures then you don’t need to worry.