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Employee sentenced after worker fatally crushed

19 December 2017

The driver of a contractor has been sentenced after the death of a road worker on the M8 motorway in 2014.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard how, on 3 March 2014, Alexander Johnstone, a HGV driver, was driving along the M8 when he knocked over and killed Ryan McNally, a roadworker who was carrying out road resurfacing work near Glasgow Airport.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found two lanes of the M8 were closed overnight for resurfacing work. As part of the work, Alexander Johnstone drove his lorry to the site to deliver tar. He entered the site at the wrong access point and reversed his HGV into to the area where the new tar was being laid. While reversing, he struck Ryan McNally who was painting the surface joints with tar.

The worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Alexander Johnstone pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 (a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He has been sentenced to complete 240 hours of a community order.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE principal inspector Graeme McMinn said: “This avoidable incident led to the needless death of a young man.

“Construction activity should be planned to reduce the need for reversing and where that is not possible further control measures such as the use of a banksman should be implemented.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We  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 businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at


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