Motorway Accident at Work

A construction company and subcontractor have been fined a total of £202,000 as a result of an accident in which a worker was killed on the M25.

The worker was waiting to reinstate fencing when a lorry jack-knifed, trapping him between another vehicle and a barrier.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident and discovered that the company had set up a contraflow system on the motorway via the contractor. The worker had been in the closed lane with a colleague when the accident happened.

The lorry driver had earlier been convicted of driving without due care and attention. The worker’s own employers were cleared of any wrongdoing, but the company who had organised the contraflow were found to have breached Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £200,000. The contractors who set up the contraflow were found to have breached Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and fined £2,000.

The HSE inspector said;

“Although the lorry driver was not blameless, the company and the contractor failed to do enough to protect those working in the road that night. Speed limits were too high, there was a poor cone layout through the contraflow and there was inadequate management of subcontractors. Had both firms met their legal responsibilities, this collision could have been avoided. The risks associated with work on high speed roads are well known and it is vital traffic management systems are correctly set up and well established safe guards are followed when people are working within them.”

The employment regulations are in place to ensure that employers comply with their duties to protect all workers. When the workplace is a place as dangerous as a busy motorway it is critical that those duites are complied with in order that workers are as safe as possible.

If you have been injured in an accident you have had whilst at work please contact Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP on the above number.