M25 worker killed by reversing bulldozer

Grant Prior 5 years ago
Share

Failed contractor J McArdle Contracts Ltd and a bulldozer operator have been fined after a worker was run over and killed while working on the M25 widening project.

Mihai Hondru, 39, of Barkingside, Ilford, suffered multiple crush injuries and died at the scene when he was struck by a reversing bulldozer near Junction 29 at Upminster on 20 October 2010.

Chelmsford Crown Court  heard that Hondru was employed by J McArdle which was managing the rebuilding of the motorway embankment.

Hondru’s job was directing lorries to the correct position on the embankment for them to tip their loads of soil.

Bulldozer driver Stephen Blackmore’s job was then to level the tipped soil with his machine.

As Hondru was helping a lorry driver manoeuvre his vehicle into position, he was struck by the reversing bulldozer, driven by Blackmore.

HSE inspectors found that after carrying out a risk assessment, J McArdle had implemented a one-way system to minimise the risks to pedestrians from the moving vehicles.

But on the day of the incident, ground conditions had changed which meant the lorries had to reverse into position but inadequate safety measures were put in place to protect those workers operating near the reversing bulldozer.

In addition, Blackmore failed to take sufficient account of Hondru’s presence in his immediate vicinity.

Rather than making sure he knew exactly where Hondru was, he assumed he was not in his way or that Hondru would move out of his way when he reversed his bulldozer.

J McArdle Contracts Ltd – now in liquidation – of Colnbrook, Slough, was handed a fine of £2,000 after being found guilty of safety breaches.

The judge commented on sentencing that if the company had still been trading the fine would have been £200,000.

Blackmore, 54, of Talaton, Devon, was also found guilty of breaching CDM regulations.

He was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £2,500.

Speaking after the case HSE Inspector Sandy Carmichael said: “Mihai Hondru’s death was a needless tragedy, all the more so because it was preventable.

“Safe operation of heavy plant, including bulldozers, means continuously checking that pedestrians are clear of moving vehicles.

“What had seemed like a small change in the task was really very significant. Construction work needs good planning – and good planning includes thorough risk assessment.

“Any modification to the plan means the risks need to be re-considered very carefully. Re-assessing risk when circumstances change is crucial, as this tragic incident clearly shows.

“Mr Hondru’s death could have easily been avoided if the transport operations had been properly managed and there had been good vigilance by everyone involved.”

Latest news

Lakehouse subbies plan showdown with Sureserve bosses

Suppliers owed millions to demand answers at company AGM
12 hours ago

Interserve subcontractors told it’s business as usual

Outsourcers circle Interserve support services division
18 hours ago

Morgan Sindall wins 20-year Sellafield civils deal

Four teams named for Sellafield decommissioning project partnership
19 hours ago

Hunt for quartet to deliver £700m Birmingham Uni pipeline

University is preparing to deliver phase two of its estate masterplan
20 hours ago

Stepnell wins £14m Northampton Vulcan works redevelopment

Historic factory to be refurbished for business start-ups
19 hours ago

Hunt starts for developer on £200m South Shields scheme

South Tyneside Council looking for housing partner and remediation specialist
19 hours ago

Revamp plans for Birmingham Moor Street station unveiled

Transfer deck across the top of station will connect to all platforms
19 hours ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
11 months ago

Interserve workers told to report for work as usual

Interserve subsidiaries to trade solvently as PLC business pre-packed
3 days ago

Interserve to file for administration as rescue rejected

Shareholders vote down rescue plan
4 days ago

Dawnus Group goes into administration

Grant Thornton now in charge of contractor which employed 700 staff
4 days ago

Bricklayer killed by collapsing wall

Court hands out £900,000 fine but contractor went into administration six months after tragedy
4 days ago

Dawnus collapse a “Welsh Carillion”

Subcontractors braced for huge losses as administrators poised to take control
4 days ago

Taylor Woodrow losses halve Vinci UK profits

Building operations trade profitably but Taylor Woodrow suffers fifth year in the red
4 days ago

Plans in for £70m Edinburgh botanic garden revamp

New glasshouse features in major overhaul plan
4 days ago

Mace to steer £350m Stevenage town centre revamp

Work set to begin on site next year
4 days ago

Plan for £250m new Tees Crossing

Tees Valley Combined Authority hopes work could start by 2023
5 days ago

Rail safety warning over runaway machine on tracks

Accident investigators highlight problems with safety management systems
4 days ago

Subbies braced for worst if Interserve loses crunch vote

Interserve to fall into administration if shareholders reject rescue plan
4 days ago

Dawnus heading for administration

Dawnus Construction Holdings on brink of collapse
6 days ago

11 firms win £5.2bn Southern Construction Framework

McLaren and McAlpine join new line up as Bouygues and Balfour drop out
5 days ago

Lakehouse Contracts ceases trading

£71m turnover business goes bust seven months after being sold by Sureserve
5 days ago

Torsion to build £65m twin towers in Leeds

Court Collaboration and Torsion Developments put in plans for build to rent scheme
5 days ago

Balfour Beatty bags £1.5bn central railway alliance

Network Rail names winner of last of three new track alliance deals
5 days ago

Brunel Uni starts race for £40m teaching block

Seven-storey facility will replace the 1968 John Crank building at Uxbridge campus
5 days ago

27 years in jail for “industrial scale” skills card forgers

Police smash forgery gang who were flooding the market with fake CSCS cards
5 days ago

£250m mixed-use scheme unveiled for Wolverhampton

Work planned to start next year creating 1,000 construction jobs
5 days ago

Holly Price becomes new head of the NFDC

Keltbray director becomes new leader of the demolition industry
6 days ago

Housing boosted in Spring Statement

£717m released for 37,000 homes at Old Oak Common in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire.
6 days ago

Balfour Beatty hits 2.4% construction margin

Leo Quinn puts group on strong footing after four-year turnaround
6 days ago

Contractor services