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Company fined after the death of employee

1 December 2017

South West Highways Limited (SWHL) has today been fined after the death of a 48-year old worker who was struck by a vehicle.

Exeter Crown Court heard how the 48-year old employee was working with colleagues to repair roads in Tiverton, Devon on 29 January 2013 when he sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a vehicle being driven by a member of the public

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to adequately identify the risks associated with the road repair work and moving traffic, and as a result the appropriate control measures were not implemented.

This incident could have been prevented had SWHL implemented the correct safety measures including signage, temporary speed limits, temporary traffic management and even closure of the road for a short period of time. It was found the planning for this work activity had failed to consider the most appropriate way to manage traffic while carrying out the road repairs.

South West Highways Limited of Rockbeare Hill, Exeter, Devon has pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,924.46.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Caroline Penwill said: “The failures exposed in this case are alarming, given the clear and obvious risks associated with roadside work and highlight the importance of managing short term works on a high speed road.

“This incident could have been prevented had South West Highways implemented suitable traffic management for this work.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.  We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual business. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.[1]
  1. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: link to external website[2]
  1. HSE news releases are available at[3]

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