Network Rail regulation and performance

13.12.18

Network Rail fined £200k after elderly signaller suffers ‘life-changing injuries’ in level crossing

Network Rail has been fined £200,000 after a 65-year-old man suffered life-changing injuries at a level crossing in Kent over three years ago.

Sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court, the infrastructure owner was convicted of one offence under the Health and Safety Work Act following a long trial which lasted 14 days. It will now have to pay £200,000 with £86,000 costs.

During the hearing, the court was told that signaller Douglas Caddell suffered major injuries after being struck by a level crossing gate, which had been hit by a car, as he tried to close the gate at East Farleigh station on 24 April 2015.

According to the ORR’s investigation, Network Rail’s risk assessment was inadequate and, despite the expected risk of a driver failing to see that the gates were being closed, the organisation “had done little” to protect its staff.

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways, said the fine indicates “just how seriously the offence is quite rightly viewed.”

“We are absolutely committed to protecting the health and safety of passengers and railway staff and will not hesitate to take enforcement action or to prosecute when necessary,” Prosser, who sits on RTM’s Editorial Board, added.

“Network Rail has introduced safety measures at East Farleigh and we would expect to see proper risk assessments made at similar level crossings up and down the country and necessary safety measures taken.”

Today’s news comes just a few days after London Underground and Balfour Beatty were fined a combined total of £433,000 after also pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws in an ORR prosecution.

(Top image: Stacey Harris)

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