Network Rail fined £1.4m after worker crushed by track machines

Grant Prior 5 days ago
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Network Rail has been fined £1.4m after a worker was crushed between the conveyor of a 25 tonne ‘Superboss’ ballast distributor and a Kubota people carrier.
The worker suffered catastrophic and life-changing injuries to his legs and spine.

The ‘Superboss’ ballast distributor
The ‘Superboss’ ballast distributor

He lost 12cm of bone to his left leg and 4cm to his right leg. The tendons and nerves of his right leg were also irreparably damaged, causing permanent disability.

A second worker suffered minor injuries to his wrist and shoulder from the collision.

The incident happened on 19 September 2018 on a 19 mile stretch of track between Crewe and Chester.

An investigation by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) led to Network Rail pleading guilty to safety charges at Chester Magistrates Court yesterday.

ORR found failings in Network Rail’s management of the worksite, including poor planning, failure to provide adequate supervision of the works, poor communication at all levels and failure to provide adequate information, instructions and training to safety-critical staff.

District Judge Sanders on sentencing Network Rail stated the subsequent accident was a result of many layers of failure within Network Rail.

Judge Sanders said there was a lack of clarity in planning and as to what was going on, insufficiently robust supervision, and operating failures by Network Rail.

ORR’s HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser CBE, said: “The injuries sustained to a Network Rail employee on 19 September 2018 were horrendous and have had a devastating impact on him and his family, to whom we offer our heartfelt sympathies.
“The incident was caused by totally inadequate supervision of the task at all levels.

“Nobody was making sure that those under their supervision had been following safe working practices, which led to this incident that could easily have been avoided.”

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