Company charged over death of Sowerby Bridge crane driver

Lindsey Easton, 49, of Sowerby Bridge who died in an industrial accident in Rossendale.
Lindsey Easton, 49, of Sowerby Bridge who died in an industrial accident in Rossendale.

A company has been charged over the death of a crane driver from Sowerby Bridge.

Lindsay Easton, 49, died when the mobile crane he was driving left the road and crashed into an earth bank in Scout Moor quarry, Edenfield in 2011.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has brought a charge of corporate manslaughter against Baldwins Crane Hire Ltd and the firm is set to appear at Burnley Magistrates’ Court on a date to be determined.

On August 15, 2011, Mr Easton was driving a heavy crane down a steep road away from a wind farm at Scout Moor, when it is alleged that the brakes failed. The crane crashed into an earth bank and fell from the road. The company had been carrying out work on wind turbines in the area.

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 and 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.”

The company is also charged with offences under Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It is alleged the company failed to ensure so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees including Lindsay Easton, and failed 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.