No roadworks speed limit lands South West Highways with £500k fine
A highway services and construction business has been fined after an employee was fatally struck by a motorist while repairing a road in Devon.
The accident happened on 29 January 2013 because the company had not identified the risks associated with the road repair work and moving traffic, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.
As a result the appropriate control measures, including temporary speed limits, signage and road closures, had not been implemented.
The highway service pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay £17,925 costs at Exeter Crown Court on Friday (1 December).
The HSE said: “The incident could have been prevented had South West Highways implemented suitable traffic management for this work.”
Safe manoeuvring at work
- It may be worthwhile adding extra mirrors to reduce blind spots for drivers. Side mirrors can allow drivers of larger vehicles to see cyclists and pedestrians alongside their vehicles
- Visibility may worsened if drivers place items in the windscreen area or in the way of mirrors so it is important that this area is kept clear.
- CCTV is worthwhile as it may help drivers to see clearly behind the vehicle.
- The use of a radar is useful when reversing on open sites where the number of unwanted alarms is likely to be low.
Hospital’s poor patient protection leads to fine for NHS Trust
Patients, aged between 72 and 92, sustained fatal injuries after falling while in the care of hospitals run by the trust. Four fell at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford; the fifth died of injuries at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. The deaths took place between June 2011 and November 2012.
The HSE found a lack of close supervision of those in a confused mental state. Investigating officers found poor communication about the measures to stop frail patients falling had made the situation worse.
One patient, 74, was admitted to the hospital on 15 June 2011. Staff were advised that he should have enhanced supervision, which involved bed watching. At about 4am on 17 June 2011, he fell to the floor and sustained a bilateral subdural haematoma. He died on 21 July 2011.
At Stafford Crown Court Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust pleaded guilty to breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The trust was fined £333,333 and ordered to repay £130,000 in costs.
The HSE’s principal inspector for Shropshire said: “In different ways, these patients were left exposed to the risk of falling which resulted in their deaths.”