‘Nothing will bring my husband back’: Council fined £2m after man dies while repairing road

todayDecember 15, 2023 9

share close
‘Nothing will bring my husband back’: Council fined £2m after man dies while repairing road

A council has been fined £2m after a man died while repairing a road.

Stephen Bell, 57, was barrowing tarmac from the back of Newport City Council’s tipper lorry when he was struck by a farm vehicle passing the road works.

Mr Bell’s wife Jenny Bell said losing him in such sudden circumstances in July 2019 had “left us all heartbroken”.

“Stephen was a kind, caring and a hardworking man who loved his family very much,” she added.

“He had a smile that lit up a room, an amazing sense of humour and laughter that was contagious.”

Mrs Bell said their youngest daughter had recently married and “didn’t have her father to walk her down the aisle”.

Stephen Bell died in 2019 while repairing a road. Pic: HSE

Stephen Bell was described as a ‘kind, caring and a hardworking man’. Pic: HSE

Cardiff Crown Court heard Mr Bell and his colleagues had been making resurfacing repairs on a section of Langstone Court Road, which runs beneath the M4 motorway.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the council did not take all reasonably practicable steps to organise a safe working environment.

Newport City Council was fined £2m and ordered to pay costs of £9,780.

Mrs Bell said: “Nothing will bring my husband back and no matter what justice takes place, it will never be enough to compensate my family and I for what we have all lost.

“I just want to make sure nothing like this ever happens again so that no other families experience what we have experienced.”

Read more from Sky News:
Prince Harry was victim of phone hacking, court rules
Teen found six years after kidnapping set to return to UK
Do you remember the UK’s top toys over the years?

HSE inspector Philip Nicolle said “the council’s failures have had a devastating impact” on Mr Bell’s family.

He said: “This tragic incident could so easily have been avoided if the council had simply carried out correct control measures and safe working practices.”

Beverly Owen, chief executive of Newport City Council, said it was “extremely sorry” for Mr Bell’s death, who was a “respected and valued colleague”.

“We again offer our sincere condolences to his family for their loss,” she added.

“Policies, procedures and training were in place at the time of the incident however, thorough and in-depth reviews have also been carried out since the incident.

“Health and safety resources have been increased, procedures have been strengthened, and additional training introduced. The council has learned from this tragic incident and has taken every step to try and ensure this is not able to happen again.”

Written by: Newsroom

Rate it

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *