Kesgrave/Benhall: Company fined after inadequate warnings signs on approach to A12 roadworks resulted in serious accident
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
A company which put up “wholly inadequate” warning signs on the approach to major roadworks on the A12 resulting in a motorcyclist suffering devastating injuries has been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling more than £200,000.
Father of three Glynn Turner, of Kesgrave, was travelling southbound on the A12 at Benhall in June 2010 when he was confronted by cones and barriers closing off the road ahead of him and was left needing 24 hour care after attempting to avoid them, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Carillion AM Government Ltd admitted breaching health and safety legislation by failing to ensure that Mr Turner was not exposed to risk arising out of the provision of temporary traffic management.
Fining the company £180,000 and ordering it to pay £28,551 costs, Judge Rupert Overbury described signs warning on the road closure as “wholly inadequate” and criticised Carillion for not ensuring that a site visit was made to check that traffic management plans for such major roadworks were adequate before the road was closed.
Judge Overbury said other road users who came across the scene of the accident told police they didn’t remember seeing any signs warning of the road closure.
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He said the public had every right to expect that clear, accurate and unambiguous signs would be in place well in advance of such major roadworks and said the lack of adequate signs had placed motorists at the “highest possible risk”.
The court heard that Mr Turner, now 47, was a shift manager at Sizewell B and was initially in a coma after the accident.
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After yesterday’s hearing his wife Karen said: “What happened on that night impacted on more people than just Glynn – it took away a husband, a father and a son.
“Although Glynn is still alive, he is lost to us. The effects of the accident are ongoing.
“He cannot move, he cannot talk, he is unable to do anything for himself and he requires around-the-clock care. Sadly, we cannot turn back time, so we have to live with the consequences of this accident.
“The company’s shortcomings on this occasion have been recognised and I welcome that. I hope that companies involved in this kind of work will take note and tighten their procedures in an attempt to avoid a repetition of this kind of accident.”
Lawyer Angela Beric, of Slater & Gordon, said: “We welcome today’s judgement. What happened to Glynn more than three years ago was down to health and safety legislation not being complied with. I hope this case sends a strong message out that the legislation is there for a reason and not complying with it can cause devastation to people and their families.”
Simon Antrobus for Carillion apologised for the company’s role in what happened to Mr Turner.
He said the company had a very good safety record but accepted that although there were signs warning motorists about the roadworks they weren’t adequate.
He said the shortcomings in the signage were due to human error and misjudgement rather than systemic failings and staff had undergone further training since Mr Turner’s accident.