Baldwins Crane Hire operators licence revoked and directors disqualified

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The operators licence of Baldwins Crane Hire has been revoked, and directors disqualified, after falsification of drivers hours and a corporate manslaughter prosecution.

The industry regulator said that compliance at the business, which operates vehicles from bases in Leeds and Langley, should have been at the highest possible level but was not.

He concluded that drivers had falsified their records in order to ensure cranes would be on site ready to work on time and at times this had, directly and indirectly, been caused by director Wayne Baldwin.

He added: "The falsification of records to make it appear that drivers had taken appropriate rest goes absolutely to the heart of road safety. In the case of this operator, five out of seven drivers investigated in 2014 were found to be so offending.

A follow-up investigation in 2015 found the offending, if anything had worsened with eighteen drivers found to be offending. This was at a time when the company had been under the DVSA spotlight as well as been subject to a Health and Safety Executive investigation in relation to the manslaughter of one of its drivers."

The company was prosecuted last year following the death of one of its drivers in 2011, in the first driving case to be heard under the corporate manslaughter act. The crane's brakes were unsafe.

Rooney remarked that the failures at Baldwin Crane Hire were "so significant, so deep-routed and so inspired by the very top of the business" that it was appropriate to revoke their vehicle operating licences.

He added: "The heavy cranes are only a part of the Baldwin’s business. The business operated without a fleet of heavy trucks up until 2007. I do not know if my decision will mean the end of Baldwins Crane Hire Limited, but I make my judgement on proportionality on the assumption that it will."

Richard Baldwin, writing on the firm's website, said: “For the sake of clarification, this disqualification only relates to the individuals being directors or senior managers in a company that holds an operator’s licence (that is to say a company carrying out haulage activities, whether for hire or reward or for use in connection with the company’s own business). 

“The disqualification does not prevent them being a director or senior manager in any other company – for example the crane hire company. The disqualifications are, in any event, to be appealed along with the decision to revoke the company’s operator’s licence.” 

The revocation of the company's two licences will take effect at 23:59 on 10 September 2016. The orders for disqualification of Richard Baldwin, Wayne Baldwin, Andrew Skelton and Lorraine Baldwin will take effect on the same date.

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