NuGen Properties

City council fined £2m for roadworker’s death


Stephen Bell

Stephen Bell, 57, was barrowing tarmac from the back of the local authority’s tipper lorry when he was struck by a farm vehicle passing the road works.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how, on 18th July 2019, Mr Bell and his gang had been carrying out resurfacing repairs on the section of Langstone Court Road that runs beneath the M4 motorway. At the time of the incident a Newport City Council team leader and the four highway operatives were working on foot and authorised to be on the site.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the council did not take all reasonably practicable steps to organise a safe working environment by ensuring there was a suitable and sufficient safety zone between the road works area and the live carriageway, as well as securing the perimeter of the road works site against road workers entering the running lane.

Newport City Council, Civic Centre, Godfrey Road, Newport, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £2m and ordered to pay costs of £9,780.

HSE inspector Philip Nicolle said after the hearing: “The council’s failures have had a devastating impact on Stephen Bell’s family. This tragic incident could so easily have been avoided if the council had simply carried out correct control measures and safe working practices.”

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