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MAJOR CONTRACTOR FAILED MOTORCYCLIST

Firm fined after traffic management inadequacies injure biker

 Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Services Ltd has been ordered to pay over £46k in fines and prosecution costs after failing to maintain safe systems of working at road works.

The prosecution follows a road traffic collision in which a motorcyclist suffered serious injuries in June 2006. 

Three workmen were carrying out repairs on the A1060, near Chelmsford, Essex and had reduced the road width to a single lane with a Stop/Go board system of traffic management.  There were advance warning signs, however, the motorcyclist collided head-on with a car travelling towards him.

The road layout used was inappropriate for the traffic flows, a sign to alert users to the traffic control ahead was not put out and the work was not properly supervised. 

HSE Inspector Sandy Carmichael said: “This serious incident could and should have been prevented by the company by ensuring safe systems of working were in place. Where information to road users at roadworks is not prominent, accurate and clear, both workers and road users are at great risk. ”

Comment: During the last 7 years 11 members of the public have been fatally injured in reportable incidents relating to the construction or maintenance of road etc. The role of the contractor under CDM 2007 is to plan, manage and monitor the work in a proper manner. It appears that in this case the court heard of failures on all three fronts.

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