A cleaning company has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter 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. It is said that he was not trained in mechanics, there was no protection available and the light on site was poor. 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 pled 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 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.