Pump Court

Conviction of Toppesfield Limited for Health and Safety at Work Act Offences Following Road Reconstruction Fatality

Cases 14 Oct 21

Allan Compton QC prosecuted Toppesfield Limited, one of the UK’s leading road reconstruction specialists, for offences contrary to s2 and s3 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Following a 13 day trial the company was convicted on all counts arising from the death of an employee, crushed by a road sweeper during road resurfacing works at the Runnymede roundabout in Surrey, in June 2018. Notwithstanding the general industry practice that lateral exclusion zones around moving plant was not necessary, Mr. Compton successfully argued that such a zone should have been in place to protect employees engaged in repair works close to such plant. As a consequence of this incident Toppesfield Limited and other companies are now deploying such zones in construction sites across the country. The driver of the road sweeper, Cosmin Stanciu pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving on the first day of trial, following a ruling that a road reconstruction site retained its status as a highway, notwithstanding restricted access during the remedial works. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment. Toppesfield Limited was fined £750,000.

Cases | 14 Oct 21

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