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This text is based upon a detailed empirical study of 40 cases of commercially related deaths. The cases are taken from 20 towns and cities in England. The author critically examines the theory and practice of the legal responses to such deaths.
The conduct of the Health and Safety Executive, the police, coroner, lawyers and the Crown Prosecution Service are analyzed in detail. The author executes his analysis in three stages: events are first scrutinized in the context of the law that governs them; the deaths and official responses are then considered in the context of the psychology of the decision-makers; and finally, the drams are looked at in a wider context of political economy.
The rigorous approach and the use of empirical evidence leads the author to point to many weaknesses, anomolies and deficiencies in the way the law and machinery of the state respond to deaths at work.