Poor Traffic Management Leads to Fatality

Developer and contractor failed with poor traffic management on development

Redrow Homes Limited and WPI Civil Engineering Limited have been fined a total of £800,000 after the death of a pedestrian struck by a reversing site dumper on a homes project in August 2013.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how 67-year-old Henry Jones was walking across the construction site in Knotty Ash when he was struck by a reversing dumper truck and crushed beneath the rear wheels of the vehicle. The incident was witnessed by his son who was also working at the construction site.

WPI Civil Engineering Limited failed to provide a banksman or employees on site trained in the role. The vehicle involved was not fit to be used on site.

Traffic poorly managed across site

HSE investigators found that Redrow Homes made no provision to maintain separation of vehicles and pedestrians in the plot where Mr Jones died. It was heard that the traffic management “across the entire site was poorly managed” and an “underlying cause” of the accident.

  • Redrow Homes Limited – of Ewlowe, Flintshire, pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) and Section 33(1)(c) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £101,000.
  • WPI Civil Engineering Limited – of King Street Trading Estate, Middlewich, Cheshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and Section 33(1)(c) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jacqueline Western said:

“This tragic incident was wholly avoidable. Having safety measures to protect pedestrian workers is a basic and well recognised principle of good construction management.

Mr Jones’ death could easily have been prevented if both the principal contractor and the sub-contractor had implemented safe systems of work and ensured that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.”

Tragically, on this occasion both Redrow Homes and WPI Civil Engineering failed to do this.”

Redrow Homes Ltd has issued a statement as follows:

“The tragic incident in 2013, which led to the death of Mr Jones, deeply affected everyone involved. Our thoughts remain with Mr Jones’s family, friends and colleagues, who’ve waited over four years for this case to be heard.

Although Judge Goldstone has found that the groundworks contractor was more culpable for this tragic accident, we pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety Act in connection with failings, on our behalf, relating to traffic management. We fully accept Judge Goldstone’s findings.

Health and Safety is our first priority and until this tragic accident we had an unblemished record stretching back over forty years of building. Immediately following the accident we reviewed our Health and Safety policies and implemented changes to processes and procedures. We, again, wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr Jones’s loved ones.”