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August 9, 2023

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£1.2million fine for Network Rail after man died doing maintenance work

Network Rail has been fined £1.2million following the death of a man who was crushed while carrying out maintenance work.

Long-serving employee Kevin Mauger was crushed by a railway track weighing six tons while working at a rail depot in Hampshire.

Kevin Mauger. Credit: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

The 53-year-old from Eastleigh, had five children and eight grandchildren. His wife Rachael says her husband was the core of their family and that his death has left ‘a hole that can never be filled’.

He had been carrying out maintenance on Network Rail’s rail production line at the Long Welded Rail Depot off Dutton Lane in Eastleigh on 30 November 2020.

As he was cleaning the inside of a butt-welding machine – a machine that welds two sections of rail tracks together. The machine’s conveyor system was on the wrong setting and that meant a section of rail track entered the machine while Kevin was inside. He was crushed and died at the scene.

“Failure” to implement safe systems 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Network Rail failed to ensure there was a safe system of work while carrying out maintenance on its rail production line. Network Rail also failed to provide an adequate risk assessment for this type of maintenance.

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, of Waterloo, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £1.2million and ordered to pay £11,410 in costs at West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court in a written judgement given on 8 August 2023.

HSE Inspector Amanda Huff said: “This tragic accident was wholly avoidable, caused by the failure of the company to implement safe systems of work.

“There were no written isolation procedures in place when they were working on this highly dangerous piece of machinery and the risk assessment for carrying out maintenance was inadequate – it failed to identify suitable and sufficient control measures.

“This accident could have been avoided if there had been robust isolation procedures in place but tragically this was not the case.”

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Dave Sparrow
Dave Sparrow
8 months ago

It’s hard to believe that such high risk work was not properly considered. How strange that we take it that the ‘big names’ do it well and the smaller businesses can’t be trusted!