August 8 - UK traffic commissioner, Kevin Rooney, has revoked the vehicle licences held by crane rental specialist Baldwins Crane Hire and disqualified four of the company's directors.
Monday 8 August 2016
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.
Rooney 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.
"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," said Rooney.
"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 end of 2015 saw Baldwins Crane Hire found guilty of corporate manslaughter, after crane driver Lindsay Easton died when the 130-tonne capacity machine he was operating careered off an access road and into an embankment in Edenfield, Lancashire in 2011.
Baldwins was ordered to pay GBP900,000 (USD1.17 million) after it was discovered that not only had the crane's brakes been badly maintained, but some of the braking systems had also been partially disabled.
Rooney remarked that the failures at Baldwins Crane Hire were "so significant, so deep-routed and so inspired by the very top of the business" that it was appropriate to revoke its vehicle operating licence.
The revocation will take effect on September 10, 2016. The disqualification of Richard Baldwin, Wayne Baldwin, Andrew Skelton and Lorraine Baldwin will also take place on that date. SOURCE: HLPFI