Crane company faces corporate manslaughter charges
The UK Crown Prosecution Service has announced today that it is charging Baldwins Crane Hire with corporate manslaughter following the death of one of its operators - Lindsay Easton.
Easton died on August 15th 2011 after his crane, a 500 tonne Liebherr, ran away as he negotiated a steep road as he left the Scout Moor wind farm in Lancashire. The crane crashed into an earth bank on an escape road crushing the chassis cab - see: Crane runs away in UK
andlink[/en/news/story/12979/]( Crane operator named).
The charges, which relate to duty of care and causing the death of an employee are published in full below.
Jane Wragg, specialist prosecutor in the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS, said: “I have carefully reviewed the evidence gathered by Lancashire Police and the Health & Safety Executive during their investigation into the tragic death of Lindsay Easton. I have concluded that Baldwins Crane Hire Limited should be charged with an offence of corporate manslaughter. I have also concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge the company with offences under Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.”
“The first hearing will take place at Burnley Magistrates’ Court on 16 October 2014. May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings. have now commenced and the company has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings”.
“These decisions were taken in accordance with the Code of Crown Prosecutors. We have decided there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.”
Details of the charges
1. Baldwins Crane Hire Limited on the 15th day of August 2011 being an organisation, namely a corporation, because of the way in which the organisation’s activities were managed or organised, caused the death of a person, namely Lindsay Easton, contrary to section 1 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
2. Baldwins Crane Hire Limited, between the 1st day of January 2010 and the 16th day of August 2011, being an employer within the meaning of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, failed to discharge the duty imposed on it under Section 2 of the Act by failing to ensure so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees including Lindsay Easton Contrary to section 33(1)(a) of that Act.
3. Baldwins Crane Hire Limited, between the 1st day of January 2010 and the 16th day of August 2011, being an employer within the meaning of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, failed to discharge the duty imposed on it under Section 3 of the Act, by failing to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that persons not in its employment who may be affected thereby were not thereby exposed to risks to their health and safety. Contrary to section 33(1)(a) of that Act.
NOTE REGARDING ANY COMMENTS!
Please note the comments from Jane Wragg of the CPS regarding the importance of not compromising a fair trial. If in doubt please do not comment at this stage. You may well be held in contempt of court and liable to prosecution if you do not respect this legal request.