A crane hire company has been ordered to pay £900,000 after being convicted of corporate manslaughter of one of its employees in 2011.

Driver Lindsey Easton, 49, died when the 130-tonne machine he was operating on crashed into an embankment close to Scout Moor Quarry in Edenfield.

Preston Crown Court heard that Mr Easton, employee of Baldwins Crane Hire Ltd, died at the scene after suffering from catastrophic injuries.

Judge Pamela Bradley said: “The jury decided the cause of the crash was brake failure and it was as a result of gross negligence on the part of senior management of the company who had failed to put systems in place for safe working and monitoring.”

Lancashire police and the Health and Safety Executive revealed, to the court that during the investigations, it was found that four of the five breaking systems were faulty or disconnected providing limited amount of braking force to the crane.

Further investigations revealed that a number of Baldwins Crane Hire Ltd had failings in the maintenance of the machinery, as well as failings to record maintenance records and supervision by senior managers.

Since the incident the firm has introduced a maintenance program using outside contractors and they have updated its records to computerised systems.

The firm were convicted of corporate manslaughter and breaching health and Safety and was ordered to pay £700,000 fine and £200,000 in costs.