Carillion and subcontractor fined after worker crushed during repair work

Carillion Highway Maintenance has been fined £200,000 after a worker was killed during repair work on the M25 motorway.

Christopher Lewis, who was employed by a subcontractor, was carrying out fencing work when he was crushed between a van and a safety barrier after a lorry jack-knifed on the motorway.

Carillion was carrying out repairs to overhead lighting in the Holmesdale Tunnel section of the M25 near Enfield when the incident happened in August 2004.

Lewis, who worked for CD Fencing and Construction Services, was waiting to reinstate wire rope safety fencing to the central reservation when the lorry jack-knifed towards him.

The lorry crashed into a parked CD Fencing van, which crushed Lewis against the safety barrier. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Carillion Highway Maintenance pleaded guilty to a safety charge and was fined £200,000 with £50,000 costs.

Traffic Management (North-east) which arranged the overnight contraflow for Carillion, was also found guilty and fined £2,000 with costs of £120,000 but the company is in administration.

The jury did not agree on the charge against CD Fencing and the company was formally acquitted when the prosecution concluded it was not in the public interest to proceed to re-trial.

HSE principal inspector Andy Beal said: “Although the lorry driver was not blameless, Carillion and TMNE failed to do enough to protect Mr Lewis and others working in the road that night.

“Speed limits were too high, there was a poor cone layout through the contraflow and there was inadequate management of subcontractors.

“Had both firms met their legal responsibilities, this collision could have been avoided. The risks associated with work on high speed roads are well known and it is vital traffic management systems are correctly set up and well established safe guards are followed when people are working within them.”