Council fined after road worker’s near miss

Westcraigs Road in Harthill. Picture: Google Street View
Westcraigs Road in Harthill. Picture: Google Street View

A workman who was almost hit by a car as he painted road markings without protection has triggered a £5,500 fine from the Scottish Road Works Commissioner.

Dashcam footage showed the vehicle overtaking a van before its driver spotted the man in the middle of the road and passed to his right.

The penalty was imposed on North Lanarkshire Council, which employed the contractor.

The man was working at the start of a 60mph limit stretch of Westcraigs Road in Harthill last September.

However, no traffic cones or warning signs had been deployed for the works.

The council, who declined to name the firm involved, said the worker had not complied with safety requirements.

Road Works Commissioner Angus Carmichael said: “The performance of North Lanarkshire Council has been monitored as part of my ongoing review scheme. In general, the performance of the council has appeared satisfactory.

“However, recent events have revealed significant failures in terms of safety and co-ordination.

“Road works carried out on behalf of the authority, by contractors, resulted in endangering road workers and the general public.

“These works were not recorded on the Scottish Road Works Register and appropriate traffic management was not in place.

“As the failures are of a very serious nature, compromising both safety of those working for the roads authority and the public, I have decided to impose a penalty of £5,500 to send a clear message to all organisations undertaking road works that poor performance is unacceptable and that all legislation must be followed.”

Mr Carmichael can impose fines of up to £50,000.

Neil Greig, policy and research director of the IAM RoadSmart motoring group, said: “As corporate fines go, it’s pretty paltry, but the main thing is it sends a clear message to councils that they need to tighten up their safety procedures for road workers.

“That can only be done through management commitment at all levels to ensure what drivers see happening on the ground matches the fine words in the head office policy statements.”

Robert Steenson,the council’s assistant chief executive, said: “We are disappointed an appointed road lining contractor didn’t comply with their obligations for the necessary health and safety at work procedures.

“We are working fully with the commissioner to ensure contractors meet their health and safety requirements.”