A company contracted to lay a pipe under a road surface has been fined after a court heard it failed to keep and maintain a safe place of work, resulting in injury to an operative who was hit by a bus.
Rebeck Communications Limited was employed to lay pipe across the full width of a road at Station Road, Long Bucky, Northamptonshire on the 14 May 2014.
Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard it is usual to have a maintained 0.5m safety zone as a restricted area when undertaking this kind of work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the road was 4.8m wide and was classified as ‘narrow lanes’.
The company decided that a temporary traffic management system would be used. This allowed one lane to be closed while still allowing traffic to pass on the other remaining ‘live’ traffic lane. In theory this system is self-managed by the drivers using the road.
However, during the reinstatement of the road surface at the centre point of the road, a worker was struck by a bus causing serious injuries to the worker including a dislocated knee and severe ligament and muscle damage.
The court was told the 0.5m safety zone was not being maintained and no other control measures were in place. It is possible the worker had to manoeuvre into the live traffic lane briefly to position some equipment as the bus was passing.
Rebeck Communications Limited, of Eagle House, Billing Road, Northampton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 26(2) of the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2007 and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1293.