While we tend to focus on the positive things going in the world of hire, the truth is, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Just this week, we learn the sad story of a fatal accident involving a skip hire worker. According to sources, a 29-year-old man from Besthorpe, Norfolk, was operating a screener machine when he died. Employed by Baldwin Skip Hire, James Criddle died due to suffocation.

Norwich Crown Court was informed that his clothes were caught in the machine.

While deaths in the manual world are not unheard of, many are criticising the skip rental company, seeing its Managing Director, Robert Baldwin, pleading his innocence against claims of manslaughter due to gross negligence.

The machine responsible was purchased from eBay, with fellow staff members claiming that it had no safety guards and was not fit for purpose.

Prosecutor Julia Faure-Walker, prosecuting, said:

“It was bought second-hand on eBay and not in the condition it would have gone to market.

“The guards had been removed. The workers were not protected from the dangerous working parts.”

According to the prosecution, investing in a new safety guard would have prevented this awful incident, not putting the operator in any form of danger.

The trial is still underway, with both the skip hire business and the decease’s family eager to gain closure.