Network Rail Receives Million Pound Fine for Major Health and Safety Breach

An Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation has led to Network Rail being fined 1.4 million GBP (1.64m euros | 1.7m USD) for a health and safety breach.

The investigation’s findings led to the ORR prosecuting Network Rail under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after a worker suffered life-changing injuries after getting crushed between the conveyor of a 25 tonne Superboss ballast distributor and Kubota people carrier.

A Superboss ballast distributor
A Superboss ballast distributor

The incident, which took place on 19 September 2018 on a stretch of track between Crewe and Chester, led to the worker losing 12cm of bone to his left leg and 4cm to his right leg. His right leg’s tendons and nerves were also irreparably damaged.

A second worker also suffered minor injuries to his wrist and shoulder.

The ORR’s investigation 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.

Ian Prosser, the Office of Rail and Road’s HM Chief Inspector of Railways, said:

“The injuries sustained to a Network Rail employee 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.”

Network Rail was also ordered to pay costs of 63,118.71 GBP (74,080.26 euros | 77,091.35 USD) to the ORR and a victim surcharge of 190 GBP (223.11 euros | 232.14 USD).

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