South West Highways Limited has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,924.46 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

In January 2013, a 48 year-old employee was working on road repairs in Tiverton. Unfortunately, the individual was struck by a vehicle being driven by a member of the public and suffered fatal injuries.

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not adequately identified the risks associated with the work at hand and the moving traffic. As a result, appropriate control measures had not been identified and implemented.

It is believed that if South West Highways Limited implemented control measures including signs, temporary speed limits, temporary traffic management and possibly a temporary closure of the road, the incident could have been prevented. The planning for the repairs had not considered the most appropriate ways of managing traffic.

Following the hearing at Exeter Crown Court, HSE inspector Caroline Penwill said, “The failures exposed in this case are alarming, given the clear and obvious risks associated with roadside work and highlight the importance of managing short term works on a high speed road. This incident could have been prevented had South West Highways implemented suitable traffic management for this work.”