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MAJOR CONTRACTOR FINED £1/4m OVER DEATH OF SURVEYOR

Reversing lorry ran over surveyor as alarm overwhelmed by other sounds

Costain Limited has been fined £250,000 for safety failings after a surveyor died when he was struck by a reversing lorry during road widening works on the M25 motorway in Kent in April 2008.

Richard Caddock, 38, from London, was talking on a mobile phone and could not hear the approaching truck above the noise of nearby motorway traffic when he was struck  from behind.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that Mr Caddock had left a parked van and was walking northbound along a closed off section of the central reservation. A tipper lorry delivering crushed stone entered the same section and reversed northbound.

Mr Craddock had walked approximately 30m when the truck hit him causing multiple injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

People and vehicles on sites require careful planning and control

HSE prosecuted Costain Limited for failing to ensure adequate precautions were in place to separate the movements of people and vehicles.

Costain Limited, of Maidenhead, pleaded guilty to breaching 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in connection to the death. In addition to the £250,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay £45,000 in costs.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said:

“This was a terrible tragedy that could easily have been avoided had Costain Limited implemented basic safety precautions.

Mr Caddock may have been distracted on the phone, but the drone of nearby traffic was such that he would have struggled to hear the reversing alarm on the lorry regardless. Quite simply the two should never have been allowed to be in the same place at the same time.

The movement of people and vehicles on construction sites requires careful planning and effective control. It must be considered a critical part of transport management. This case highlights that a failure to be in control can have devastating consequences.”

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