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Crane hire company fined over death

Posted in: Workplace Injuries Wrongful & Accidental Death 

A crane hire company has been fined after one of its employees was killed in a crash. Baldwins Crane Hire was fined £700,000 after 49-year-old Lindsay Easton was killed while driving a crane at Scout Moor quarry in Lancashire when the brakes failed. The incident happened in 2011, with an investigation finding that several of the crane’s wheel brakes were damaged or inoperable, “providing only limited braking force”.

Mr Easton, from Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire, had been driving the 130-tonne crane on a steep slope before losing control and crashing into a bank on 15 August. The complete front of the vehicle was crushed, causing the driver to sustain multiple injuries, which subsequently led to his death.

Failed to ensure the safety of any of its employees

Baldwins Crane Hire was recently convicted of corporate manslaughter and was ordered to pay a further £200,000 in costs at Preston Crown Court. It was found in court that the company failed to ensure the safety of any of its employees.

Baldwin Crane Hire apologised unreservedly for the death of its employee, with its barrister Simon Antrobus QC adding that Mr Easton’s death had affected the owning family “very deeply”. The firm ensured that it had made numerous changes since the accident, and as a result has become a very different company. It was stated in court that its health and safety procedures now “compiled with best practise”.

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