Firm and bulldozer operator sentenced in worker death case (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Construction firm J McArdle and bulldozer operator Stephen Blackmore sentenced in worker, Mihai Hondru from Barkingside, death case
A construction firm and bulldozer operator were sentenced last week after a Barkingside worker was run over and killed while working on the M25 widening project four years ago.
Mihai Hondru, 39, of Poplar Way, Barkingside, suffered multiple crush injuries and died at the scene after being struck by a reversing bulldozer near Junction 29 at Upminster in October 2010.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted J McArdle Contracts Ltd and bulldozer operator Stephen Blackmore and they were sentenced on Friday at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Slough-based J McArdle Contracts Ltd, now in liquidation, was handed a fine of £2,000 after being found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations.
Stephen Blackmore, 54, from Devon, was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £2,500 after being found guilty of unsafe driving of a construction vehicle.
Mr Hondru was helping a lorry driver manoeuvre his vehicle into position when he was struck by Mr Blackmore's reversing bulldozer.
Inspectors found that J McArdle had, after a risk assessment, implemented a one-way system to minimise the risks to pedestrians from the moving vehicles.
However, on the day of the incident, this system was not in place.
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.
“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.”