A successful corporate killing prosecution could cost a company up to 25% of its value, senior executives have said.

A new Mori poll has shown that a third of board directors said they expected a "substantial fall" of between 10% and 25% in their company's share price if they were found guilty of corporate manslaughter.

One in ten board directors foresaw a "major fall" of more than 25% in the company's share price following a successful prosecution.

For some time, the government has promised a new corporate manslaughter offence and is under increasing pressure from the TUC and the families of employees killed at work to follow up the promises with legislation.

The directors said institutional shareholders would react to a successful prosecution with demands for corrective action, increased investment in health and safety and major board changes.

A quarter of directors said institutional investors would sell part of their investment in the company and 9% said the investors would send all or most of their investment.