Suffolk

Kier fined £1.8m after worker death in Lidgate

Aidan Gallagher Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Aidan Gallagher was described as a "much-loved father and partner"

A construction firm has been fined £1.8m after a worker died while removing the surface of a road.

Aidan Gallagher, 37, was injured while working on the narrow B1063 at Lidgate near Newmarket in 2014.

Judge Martyn Levett at Ipswich Crown Court said "he must have been run over" by a tipper truck at the site.

Kier Integrated Services Ltd, of Bedfordshire, admitted a health and safety offence over the "flawed" traffic management system.

Subcontractor Sean Hegarty Ltd of Ipswich, which was carrying out the work, admitted a similar offence and was fined £75,000.

High-impact injuries

The court heard that Mr Gallagher, who had been living in the Ipswich area, was found lying on the road by his Hegarty colleagues on 13 May.

The father-of-three died while being taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

Mr Gallagher had been sweeping and checking the work while standing between the subcontractor's road planing vehicle, which was travelling forward, and its tipper truck, which was reversing as it collected the spoil by conveyor belt.

The other side of the road was open to vehicles, controlled by traffic lights, but the court heard the speed limit had not been reduced from 60mph (95km/h).

The court was told the 5.5m (18ft)-wide road was coned down the middle but should have been closed completely as it did not provide a safe working zone.

The prosecution said the post-mortem examination showed Mr Gallagher had high-impact injuries but it could not conclude what had caused them.

Family man

But Judge Levett said that although he was exposed to a risk of being hit by passing vehicles, his position meant "he must have been run over" by the tipper truck.

The judge said the planning was "flawed" and there was a "systemic failure to recognise those risks".

Mr Gallagher's family said at the time of his death: "Aidan was a great family man.

"His family and friends are devastated and will forever mourn his passing."

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