Companies fined �300,000 following motorway death

THE companies responsible for a man who died after falling while working over the M5 at Clevedon have been fined �300,000.

Cecil Grant was repairing CCTV cameras used to monitor one lane of the northbound carriageway during the night of January 24, 2006, when he fell 12 metres off a wall and into bushes below, causing serious injuries. The 42-year-old from Southmead died 10 days later.

On Friday, his employers, Serco, and prinicipal contractor, Birse Civils, were sentenced at Bristol Crown Court for breaching health and safety regulations and failing to protect Mr Grant.

The court heard that Serco, based in Hook, Hampshire, did not plan, manage or monitor the work properly.

Both companies had also failed to cooperate with each other to make sure workers at the site near junction 20 were not put in danger.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the companies and its inspector Steve Frain said: “When employees are working at height, proper plans must be put in place and workers made aware of possible risks.

“In this case, Mr Grant had not been made aware of the dangerous drop where he was working. If he had been, a tragic incident could easily have been avoided.”

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Serco pleaded guilty to breaching two health and safety regulations and was fined �100,000 for each as well as being ordered to pay �36,186.

Birse Civils, of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching one regulation and was fined �100,000 with costs of �180,093.