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10/01/2017

Network Rail Prosecuted After Track Worker Struck By Train

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Network Rail has been fined after a track worker was seriously injured during maintenance work in Surrey.

The rail operator was prosecuted by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for contraventions of sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined a total of £800,000.

Guildford Crown Court heard how a worker was performing maintenance work on the main line between Brighton and London near Redhill in June 2014.

While carrying out this work, he was struck by a passing high-speed train and sustained multiple serious and life-changing injuries.

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Following an extensive ORR investigation, inspectors concluded the work was inadequately planned and managed, placing track maintenance workers in unnecessary danger.

The Court heard that works were scheduled while fast, frequent trains continued to run, in an area with a narrow and steep embankment where the ability of track workers to retreat to a safe position when trains approached as materially compromised.

In addition, the Court also heard the works could have been carried out at night, when other scheduled works would have ensured that no trains were running.

ORR Principal Inspector Tom Wake said that Network Rail's planning of track maintenance work in this incident "fell below legal standards".

"This incident shows that although Britain's railways are the safest in Europe, we can never be complacent," he said.

"After the incident, Network Rail undertook a review of worker safety on the London to Brighton line, reducing track maintenance with trains running, introducing better warning systems and providing additional training for staff."

(LM)

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