The director of a road sweeping company has been fined for safety offences after a worker was killed.
Malcolm Hinton died in 2012 when a raised hopper for collecting dirt fell on top of him at a Mobile Sweepers (Reading) Ltd depot in Headley, Hampshire.
Mervyn Owens was fined £183,000 after he admitted a charge under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company also pleaded guilty to breaching the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, for which they were fined £8,000, with £4,000 costs. Mr Owens was also disqualified from holding the position of company director for five years.
Mr Hinton was crushed on 6 March 2012 when the hopper fell back after losing hydraulic pressure. A joint police and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found a prop designed to take the weight of the hopper when it was raised in the tipping position could not be used due to poor maintenance.
Speaking after the sentencing at Winchester Crown Court, HSE principal inspector Steve Hull said Mr Hinton's death was “wholly avoidable”. He continued, “planned preventive maintenance procedures should be in place for all work vehicles to ensure they are kept in good condition”.