CommercialFleet

Baldwins Crane Hire fined £700,000 after being found guilty of corporate manslaughter

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Baldwins Crane Hire has today been fined £700,000 and ordered to pay £200,000 in costs at Preston Crown Court after being found guilty of corporate manslaughter.

The company was also convicted of failing to ensure the safety of its employees and failing to ensure the safety of other persons following the death of Lindsay Easton on August 15, 2011.

Easton, from West Yorkshire, was driving a 130-tonne crane when the brake system failed on August 15, 2011, and the vehicle crashed into an earth bank.

He suffered multiple injuries and died when the front of the vehicle was crushed in the impact.

It was found several of the wheel brakes were inoperable, worn and contaminated. The engine retarding (braking) systems were also found to be either non-functional, disabled and damaged, providing only limited braking force.

An investigation was subsequently launched by Lancashire Police, working alongside the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

It was found several of the wheel brakes were inoperable, worn and contaminated. The engine retarding (braking) systems were also found to be either non-functional, disabled and damaged, providing only limited braking force.

As part of the investigation, brakes were inspected across the Baldwins fleet with several other cranes found to have “significant issues” which required immediate work.

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Comments

  • Edward Handley - 23/12/2015 17:23

    Mobile cranes are exempt from MoT testing, operator licensing, drivers hours and tachograph regulations and a whole raft of other legislation including C&U Regs. It is worrying that a large and previously reputable company allowed a crane on the road in such a dangerous condition, and it makes one wonder whether other MoT exempt machines are used in a similar state. I suspect that everything on the crane side was in good working order, because cranes have to have a thorough examination every 12 months, and lifting gear needs to be inspected every 6 months. It looks as though it was just the automotive side of the crane that was neglected. The Government seem very keen to lengthen the period between MoT tests, and to allow even more exemptions in the pursuit of de-regulation, but cases like this suggest that it would not be in the interests of road safety to do so. I am increasingly of the view that if a vehicle is used on the road, there is a very strong argument for it being examined independently every year.

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  • Darran Harris - 23/12/2015 18:25

    This is a terribly sad report to read but really emphasises the importance of maintenance and compliance

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