Equipment hire firm fined after worker’s death

A catering equipment hire company has been fined £65,000 after an employee of the company died in a freak accident while at work.

David Churchill, who worked for London-based Rayners Catering and Equipment Hire, was killed three years ago when goods that he was unloading from a vehicle fell on top of him.

The 59-year-old was the owner’s brother-in-law and had worked at the firm for 40 years.

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At Kingston Crown Court last week, Rayners Catering and Equipment Hire pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.

The Wandsworth Guardian reported that the court heard that the company had failed to protect Mr Churchill by not ensuring that all delivery men had the right level of training to load and unload heavy equipment.

It said the owner of the business had told police that the company had assumed drivers who arrived on site could load properly when he was interviewed after the incident.

The court also heard that as there were no witnesses to the tragedy, it was impossible to say exactly what had happened.

As well as the £65,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay £9,950 in costs.

Rayners Catering and Equipment Hire is a family-owned business that has been trading for more than 90 years. As well as hiring out commercial catering equipment, it specialises in providing customers with a wide range of glasses, china and restaurant furniture.

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