Road maintenance firm ordered to pay over £200,000 after motorcyclist paralysed

by Redmans Solicitors on November 20, 2013

A Midlands-based road maintenance firm has been heavily fined after a motorcyclist was seriously injured because of health and safety failings by the company.

Mr Glynn Turner, 47, was travelling on the south side of the A12 on his motorcycle when he collided with traffic signs at a road closure on 7 June 2010. As a result of his accident Mr Turner sustained multiple serious injuries, included being completely paralysed – he is now unable to move any part of his body or communicate and needs round-the-clock care in order to survive. It is not currently known whether Mr Turner has or will claim personal injury because of his accident.

An investigation into the matter was commenced by the Health and Safety Executive. This investigation found that there had been serious health and safety failings by Carillion AM Government Limited, the firm that was contracted to undertake the roadworks. In particular, Carillion had failed to adequately signpost that roadworks were taking place, with the first indication that roadworks were taking place just 200 metres prior to the roadworks themselves. Given that the speed limit on this part of the road was 50mph, this give motorists very little time to slow before they came to the site of the roadworks. The HSE therefore decided that a prosecution should be commenced against Carillion and instigated criminal proceedings.

The case came before the Ipswich Crown Court on 7 November 2013. Carillion AM Government Limited pleaded guilty to a breach of s.3(1) of thee Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 – that it had failed to take such steps to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that persons not in the company’s employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health and safety. The Crown Court held that the company should be fined £180,000 for the breach and that it should also have to pay £28,551 towards the costs of the prosecution. There does not appear to have been any comment from Carillion’s criminal defence solicitors after the judgment.

HSE Inspector Mr Sandy Carmichael stated after the judgment: “Had Carillion complied with the industry’s code of practice and correctly placed temporary warning signs to alert motorists in good time to the roadworks, this dreadful incident could have been avoided… Roadworks provide increased risk in what is already a very hazardous environment. Anyone doing work on our roads must take great care to warn road users in good time what to expect on the road ahead.”

Redmans Solicitors are specialist employment solicitors and can help you claim personal injury if you’ve been involved in an accident at work

Please note that Redmans, trading as Criminal Defence Solicitors, did not represent Carillion AM Government Limited.

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