Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

February 8, 2016

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Babcock Rail Ltd fined £400k following worker’s crush injuries

Rail maintenance company Babcock Rail Ltd has been fined £400,000 after a worker got trapped between a digger and a station platform in Flintshire in March 2013.

Lee Woolly was helping to replace a line at Hope Railway Station when the incident happened. He was knocked unconscious and suffered bruising to his leg, abdomen and back. He was on crutches and off work for six weeks.

The court heard Mr Woolley saw the digger approach but was unable to get out of the way and was crushed against the platform. He was “fortunate” not to have been killed, it was said.

ORR’s investigation found Babcock Rail was aware that there was a risk of collision between maintenance vehicles and workers renewing the track at Hope Station. However, the company failed to take appropriate steps to prevent its employees coming to harm following inadequate planning, coordination and communication between managers.

A 3mph speed limit for vehicles was not being monitored or enforced, and no attempts were made to set up exclusion zones or positions of safety for those working near moving vehicles.

Andrew Longdon, defending, said health and safety was “a priority” for the company and CCTV footage which captured the incident had since been used to train others.

In a statement, the Office of Rail and Road, who brought the prosecution, said: “Babcock Rail’s safety management fell below the standards required, as inadequate planning and coordination of track renewals placed workers in unnecessary danger.

“Safety of rail workers is one of the regulator’s key priorities and we will take appropriate action against companies or individuals wherever failings are found.”

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