A VALLEYS company was fined £100,000 after admitting failing to ensure the safety of a worker who was hit by a car and died while working on the M4.

Sean Luke Hale, 30, from Cwmbran was killed in 2006 when he crossed the motorway and was hit by a car while working for New Inn-based R P Traffic Management Ltd.

Mr Hale was working as a trainee traffic management operative at around 9.30pm on September 8 close to Cardiff when he crossed the road to collect traffic cones from the central reservation while the M4 was being resurfaced.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Hale's employers failed to make sure there was a safe workplace, such as erecting appropriate signs to warn drivers workmen were on the carriageway at the time.

Cardiff Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday that Mr Hale was working with another trainee when he was run over. They were being supervised but the HSE questioned the quality of the supervision .

The court heard both crossed the motorway in what was described as a "dangerous manner" on a number of occasions before the fatal crash.

R P Traffic Management Ltd, based in Polo Grounds Industrial Estate, pleaded guilty to ensuring the safety of two trainee traffic management operatives.

The company, who fit and remove signs managing traffic during construction on roads, were fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £22,000 costs.

HSE inspector Wayne Williams said one foreman and two trainees working on the shift when Mr Hale was killed was "not adequate supervision in what is a high-risk working environment."

A spokeswoman for R P Traffic Management said they "felt the court dealt with the matter fully" and did not want to comment further.

A HSE spokeswoman said no charges were ever brought against the driver and an inquest into Mr Hale's death in February 2008 recorded a narrative verdict, listing working practices not being followed; no advance warning signs; dark conditions and evidence of risk taking as contributing factors to Mr Hale's death.

A tribute released by his family at the time of his death to the man affectionately known as "Stumpy" said: "Sean was well-known and loved in the Cwmbran area, as a carpenter and a father of two young daughters."