Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

January 19, 2016

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Carillion Construction fined £200k for railway death

Carillion Construction Ltd has been sentenced for breaching health and safety laws which led to the death of a railway worker.

It was heard in court how on 4 December 2012, 26-year-old Scott Dobson, from Stainforth, Doncaster, was carrying out maintenance work near Saxilby, Lincolnshire, when he was struck by a passing train. Ambulance crews confirmed him dead at the scene.

As part of its statutory duties, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigated and found a number of failings in Carillion’s planning and management of the work. Only one of the two railway lines had been blocked while maintenance was being done, whereas both lines should have been closed, to minimise the possibility of workers being struck by passing trains.

Mr Dobson was involved in two incidents months before his death, it has been reported, with the court hearing that “Mr Dobson should not have been in a safety role until the incidents had been fully investigated”.

Jonathan Ashley-Norman, prosecuting for the Office of Rail and Road, told Lincoln Crown Court that the failures at Carillion did not directly cause Mr Dobson’s death, but created the circumstances of what occurred near Saxilby, Lincolnshire.

“Carillion accepts there were missed opportunities to prevent him working in a safety-critical role,” Mr Ashley-Norman said.

Carillion Construction Ltd pleaded guilty at Lincoln Crown Court and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,570.39

Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways said: “This accident was wholly avoidable, had Carillion Construction Ltd followed health and safety rules set out for the railways. Our sympathies are with Mr Dobson’s family.

“The safety of workers and passengers is a top priority for the regulator, which is why ORR inspectors are out on the railway daily, monitoring to ensure safety isn’t compromised.”

Gordon Menzies, representing Carillion, offered an “unreserved apology” to Mr Dobson’s family and said the company has introduced measures to “tighten procedures”.

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