A cleaning company has been found guilty of Corporate Manslaughter on the 4th March 2014 following the death of a worker in March 2012.
Malcolm Hinton died when he was crushed by a road sweeper, whilst carrying out repairs to the machine.
The 56 year-old, had been given no training and there was no protection available and the light on site was poor.
As a result Mr. Hinton inadvertently cut through a hydraulic hose which caused the back of the truck to fall on him.
He suffered massive head and chest injuries and died almost instantly.
A joint police and HSE investigation was carried out following the incident highlighting extensive failings on the part of the company.
The company, Mobile Sweepers (Reading) Ltd pleaded guilty to a charge under section 1 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and the company director admitted failing to discharge duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company director was fined £183,000 and the company was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £4000 costs.
It has also been reported that payment is to be made within 12 months, failing which a three year custodial sentence will be imposed.
The company director has also been disqualified from being a company director for five years. This followed evidence heard by the judge, that the director had started an almost identical company when the original company ceased trading on the day of the accident. Further, a publicity order was also imposed on the company. Notices worded by the judge are to be placed in various local newspapers.
The judge further commented that had the company been a larger corporation, the fine imposed would have been closer to £1 million.
In addition, Mobile Sweepers was subject to a publicity order, meaning that notices worded by the judge detailing the case would be placed in various local newspapers.
Detective Sergeant Glyn White said: “This conviction should send out a message to all small limited companies with a hands-on senior management structure, that they are vulnerable to prosecution if their health and safety systems are inadequate or not enforced.”
In our world, the world of physical intervention, breakaway, self-defence and conflict resolution, how many staff and service users are regularly placed at risk of serious injury and death because:
a) Staff are given little or no training?, or
b) They are provided with training that simply does not work?,
c) Staff are not given the appropriate equipment to control people properly?
d) People in positions of influence and authority are giving incorrect and legally flawed instructions that place people and organisations under a duress and make them 'loss averse'?
As Upton Sinclair said well over 100 years ago:
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.”
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