Orkney council worker’s lorry death ruled ‘avoidable’

Orkney council worker's lorry death ruled 'avoidable'

A fatal accident inquiry into the death of an Orkney Islands Council worker has now found the incident was avoidable.

Keith Johnston, 52, was part of a road maintenance team working on Orkney and had been supervising a closed junction.

But he left his post while wearing ear guards to move loose stone chips onto the resurfaced carriageway.

His colleague, Nicholas Darby, reversed a tipper truck but failed to see Johnston working with a leaf blower on the road and hit him.

Emergency services raced to the scene in June 2017 but he could not be saved.

A fatal accident inquiry at Kirkwall Sheriff Court has now found the accident could have been prevented if Mr Johnston had not been using a leaf blower while wearing ear defenders.

Sheriff Gerard Sinclair made no formal recommendations after being told Orkney Islands Council had “responded appropriately” to the accident and had addressed defects in its working systems following a probe by the Health and Safety Executive.

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