March 5, 2018

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Firm fined after leaving equipment on rail line

A Co Down company has been fined and sentenced at Craigavon Crown Court for failing to remove equipment following the repair of the Belfast to Dublin railway line.

Northern Excavators Ltd, of Culcavy Road, Hillsborough, were found guilty of failing to remove an excavator bucket from the Belfast to Dublin railway line following an overnight operation for track rehabilitation works. This resulted in a 6-carriage passenger train striking the bucket the following morning; fortunately there were no significant injuries to passengers on board.

Northern Excavators Ltd had been sub-contracted to carry out the work because of their expertise in working on railway lines. However, HSENI found that they failed to have adequate safety precautions in place during this repair operation, which could have resulted in passengers being hurt or even killed.

Breaches and fines for Northern Excavators Ltd were as follows:

  • Article 5(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 – fine £4,000
  • Regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation (Northern Ireland) 2000 – fine £4,000
  • costs of £1,092.00.

HSENI Inspector Linda Murphy said: “This case highlights the dangers of railway maintenance with inadequate safe systems of working.  Appropriate attention must therefore be given by those who work on such activities, to ensure that high standards of safety control are in place at all times.”


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6 years ago

is this a joke? less than 10K for a potentially fatal incident involving many rail passengers. The report says they were sub-contrcated, so who was the principle contractor and why weren’t they deemed culpable in any way? I don’t see any deterent in this prosecution at all.