Two incidents in which members of the public were injured as a result of roadworks being carried out have led to prosecution for Liverpool City Council and two of its contractors.
Liverpool City Council contracted Enterprise Liverpool Limited and Tarmac Trading Limited to carry out the resurfacing works on Queens Drive in the city in the summer of 2012. One man was killed and another seriously injured as they attempted to cross the road while the roadworks were being carried out. An elderly man was hit by a car while he tried to cross at the temporary lights as one side of the road had been put into a
contraflow to allow travel in both directions. However, the lights were not working properly and the man was hit, suffering serious head injuries.
The following month, a 69-year-old man was killed when he tried to cross a single lane of traffic on the road using a temporary pedestrian crossing.
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Following the two incidents, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation was carried out which found that Liverpool City Council had not ensured the arrangements put in place were suitable and had failed to take on a coordinator to oversee the work.
Enterprise Liverpool Limited failed to make sure that barriers were provided and that the designs for traffic management were approved or checked. There was also found to be no safe means of pedestrians crossing the works area or the carriageway.
Liverpool City Council of Dale Street, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM). It was fined £15,000 plus £100,000 in costs, while Enterprise Liverpool Limited of Newton Road, Liverpool was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £80,000 costs.
HSE inspector, Jacqueline Western, said: “The risks associated with road works are well known in the industry and specific guidance is available to assist with the planning and implementation. It is not unreasonable to expect that those who regularly engage in this type of construction work should be well aware of their roles and responsibilities.
“The combined failure of all three dutyholders to comply with their duties on more than one occasion during the Queens Drive resurfacing project, led to one man losing his life and another suffering serious injury. It could quite easily have been two fatal incidents."