UK crane rental company Baldwins Crane Hire Limited has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter following the death of a crane driver.

Crane driver Lindsay Easton died while driving his eight axle wheeled mobile telescopic crane on an access road at a wind farm site at the Scout Moor Quarry in Lancashire in August 2011. Easton died after losing control of the vehicle and it crashed into an earth bank. Lancashire Police and Health and Safety Executive investigations found that the crane’s brakes were defective, among other failings at the company.

Jim Elston, Lancashire Police detective inspector, said, “This tragedy was entirely avoidable had the company acted responsibly and ensured their crane fleet was effectively serviced and maintained.

“It has been shown from all the evidence that the state of the brakes on the crane were in a shocking condition and sadly it was an accident waiting to happen.”

In addition to corporate manslaughter, Baldwins Crane Hire was also found guilty of failing to ensure the safety of its employees and failing to ensure the safety of other persons, at Preston Crown Court on 30 November 2015. Sentencing is on 22 December.

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