Baldwins fined £700,000 for crane death

Grant Prior 3 years ago
Share

Baldwins Crane Hire has been fined £700,000 after the death of its operator Lindsay Easton at the Scout Moor wind farm in East Lancashire four years ago.

Emergency services at the scene

Following a trial in November, the company was found guilty of corporate manslaughter, failing to ensure the safety of its employees and failing to ensure the safety of other persons.

Mr Easton, from West Yorkshire, was driving a 130-tonne mobile crane on a road from Scout Moor quarry in Edenfield, near Ramsbottom, when the brake system failed.

The vehicle, travelling on a steep access road, lost control and crashed into an earth bank. The front of the vehicle was crushed, with Mr Easton dying from multiple injuries.

Following the incident an investigation was launched by Lancashire Police, working alongside the Health and Safety Executive.

It was found that several of the wheel brakes were inoperable, worn or contaminated. The engine retarding (braking) systems were also found to be non-functional, disabled or 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.

Significant failings were also found within the company structure. There was a lack of supervision and recording taking place of organised maintenance work by senior management.

The trial also heard the crane was not Mr Easton’s usual vehicle, having replaced another operator when he took over the site operation.

Det Sgt John McNamara, of Lancashire Police, said: “We welcome today’s sentencing and hope it serves as a reminder to all companies to properly manage and maintain equipment, vehicles and to keep the safety of their employees at the forefront of their responsibilities.

“The brakes on the crane driven by Mr Easton that day were in a shockingly bad state and this was a disaster waiting to happen. Had this happened on a road with more vehicles this incident could have been even more serious than it already was.

“The safety of employees is of utmost importance in the workplace and Baldwins Crane Hire clearly neglected its responsibilities and sadly Mr Easton paid the price.

“Mr Easton’s death was wholly avoidable. Tragically the gross failings of the company management have led to the death of an experienced crane driver who was simply doing his job, causing enduring heartache for his family. I hope the sentence brings some closure for his family during what has been a traumatic and difficult time.


“This was a lengthy and detailed investigation which despite Baldwin’s maintaining their innocence throughout has resulted in the jury returning unanimous guilty verdicts.

“On behalf of the family, the CPS and the investigation team I would like to thank the jury for their consideration, the judge for today’s sentence and the prosecuting counsel Andrew Thomas QC for his expert presentation of the evidence.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Kevin Jones added: “This was a complex investigation involving a high level of collaboration between HSE and Lancashire Police especially in relation to the forensic examination of the crane’s braking systems.

“This joint working with Lancashire Police contributed to bringing this case to a successful conclusion.

“I also wish to pay tribute to the heroic actions of Mr Easton which helped prevent an even greater potential tragedy by his attempt to stop the crane on the run-off lane rather than continuing down the access road and onto the public highway.”

 

Latest news

Pay row set to escalate on HS2 enabling works site

Dispute set to intensify over rates paid by labour supplier
11 hours ago

VINCI starts work on new £100m Birmingham hospital

Contractor gets underway on three-year build programme
5 hours ago

Four civils firms scoop £2.6bn flood and coastal framework

Kier breaks into Environment Agency preferred contractors list
11 hours ago

Costain making engineers redundant at tech centre

Contractor cutting jobs at technology division it bought for £17m in 2016
11 hours ago

Dozen firms win £500m City of London deal

Morgan Sindall, Osborne and Speller Metcalfe among winners
11 hours ago

New £3m fund to improve construction procurement

Companies invited to bid for cash grants in CITB-led efficiency drive
11 hours ago

Green light for vast Nottingham Boots Island scheme

Developer Conygar plans to build a 2m sq ft mixed-use scheme
10 hours ago

Goldman Sachs bankrolls Brum’s tallest resi project

Builder Sisk can now start work on 42-storey Broad Street skyscraper
10 hours ago

SME contractors agree 2.75% pay deal for workers

Annual pay increase will see hourly craft rates rise to £12.79
1 day ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
12 months ago

Lakehouse subbie goes after Sureserve for cash

Specialist wins adjudication award after contractor goes bust
1 day ago

Firms on alert for M4 Newport £185m enabling works

Bidders day planned ahead of July invitation to tender
1 day ago

Robertson hires Laing O’Rourke infrastructure ops director

Bryan Glass will head Robertson's civil engineering business in Scotland
1 day ago

Wates starts £24m Shoreham flood defence

Enabling works to pave way for 540-home Free Wharf scheme
1 day ago

£400m Eastern Highways Framework up for renewal

Essex County Council to invite bids for third generation framework in June
1 day ago

Countryside chief operating officer exits

Rebecca Worthington steps down as Countryside reports strong first half trading
1 day ago

Willmott Dixon chalks up £20m Liverpool nursing school

Liverpool John Moores University Tithebarn building and library to be extended and refurbished
1 day ago

Boy, 12, falls from scaffold ladder on poorly guarded site

Ten metre fall inflicts life-changing injuries on boy
2 days ago

Galliford Try profit warning sparks construction arm review

Firm warns profits will be £40m below forecasts after Queensferry Crossing hit
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall boosts north west leadership team

Growth drive sees new directors appointed in Manchester and Liverpool
2 days ago

Walter Lilly wins £55m London medical HQ project

Renew Group building specialist signs preconstruction services agreement
2 days ago

Autumn start for Mount Anvil’s largest ever scheme

Green light for 800-home Royal Eden Docks scheme in East London
2 days ago

Laing O’Rourke strategy boss joins Royal BAM

Simon Finnie steered strategy at Laing O'Rourke and Kier over six years
2 days ago

New Structure Tone division lands first major deal

Detail & Build team bags fit-out for new owners of Heron House
2 days ago

New Kier chief sets out to streamline £4bn group

Andrew Davies launches strategic review to simplify business and improve cash flow
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe closes in on £400m turnover

Hotel specialist delivers further growth and £17m pre-tax profit
3 days ago

Construction’s most considerate sites revealed

Best performing contractors confirmed: Full details
4 days ago

Infrastructure clients lead drive to eliminate site accidents

Major push to end injuries and illness caused by seven key site risks
3 days ago

Rogue roofer found guilty of fraud

Court hears "abysmal" repairs charged at £38,000 were worth just £250
7 days ago

Engie names new UK chief executive

Nicola Lovett takes helm at UK and Ireland business in May
3 days ago

Contractor services