Balfour Beatty and London Underground fined £433k for track worker’s crush injuries
Monday 3rd December 2018
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The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation found that both companies were aware of the risks associated with allowing workers to walk along the track in front of a RRV, which is used for lifting, digging or levelling track, but had failed to put a safe system of work in place before the incident happened in the early hours of 4 June 2016.
Snaresbrook Crown Court was told on 3 December that 36-year-old worker Adrian Rascarache was crushed between the RRV and the platform edge at Whitechapel station. The vehicle had been fitted with a bucket, which restricted the driver's view.
The ORR found that both companies had decided not to adopt a procedure called "send and receive", which eliminates the need for people to walk between machines because this was considered a slower method of working.
The rail regulator also found that on the night that Rascarache sustained his life-changing injuries, the workers were not given the required safety briefings before starting their shift. The signing-in procedure had been deliberately bypassed.
Balfour Beatty Rail, which was fined £333,000 and London Underground, which must pay £100,000, both pleaded guilty to breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The two companies must each pay £30,000 costs.
Balfour Beatty Rail told IOSH Magazine that it has "since taken appropriate corrective action to take the lessons learnt from this incident and shared them across our business".
Lyndon Perks sustained multiple injuries and died at the scene following the incident, which took place at the port's east gate off Mineral Quay Road at Immingham Docks, North East Lincolnshire, on 9 September 2015.The ICTS (UK) employed security guard had approached the articulated vehicle as it entered the port, which is operated by Associated British Ports (ABP), on its way to the DFDS Seaways warehouse. The 50-year-old was not visible to the driver, either on his approach to the HGV or as he walked in front of it and was dragged under the lorry.
The Alternative Parcel Company (APC) Overnight worker sustained injuries to both legs on 28 November 2015 after he was struck by the vehicle, which was operating in the same area.The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found APC Overnight had failed to ensure agency workers had undergone a suitable induction before being allowed to work where forklift trucks were moving around at the firm’s Sortation Hub in Kingswood Lakeside, Cannock in Staffordshire.
A tipper wagon driver was seriously injured on 17 September 2013 when his wagon overturned while he was tipping spoil onto a stockpile at the Former Croda Works in Kilnhurst, South Yorkshire. He died a week later on 24 September of his injuries.A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Sirius Remediation contractors were managing the works, which involved raising the ground levels on site by reusing spoil from other sites, instead of sending it to landfill.
The incident happened at Whitechapel station in east London in the early hours of 4 June 2016 when Balfour Beatty Rail and LUL were working in a joint enterprise arrangement called Track Partnership renewing track on the Metropolitan Line. Track Partnership had scheduled weekend ballast replacement work at Liverpool Street and Aldgate East stations, using seven RRVs at each site. The 14 machines, which are used for lifting, digging and levelling track, moved in convoy from West Ham sidings to the stations.
Douglas Caddell, 65, was closing the gates at the East Farleigh station crossing in Kent when the incident happened on 24 April 2015. There had been a near-miss earlier that day when another vehicle drove over as he was operating the gates.Caddell sustained a fractured C3 and C4 vertebrae and spondylolisthesis (an injury known as a hangman's fracture) and the possibility of brain injury is being investigated. Caddell is unable to work in his former role.
The Whiterose Scaffolding employee’s internal injuries were so severe that he now lives with chronic pain and has significant mobility problems.The Leeds-based company, which notes on its website that it employs “a dedicated team of CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) trained scaffolders”, failed to provide employees with training on how to safely operate the vehicle and failed also to provide adequate supervision. The company did not monitor its drivers to ensure forklift trucks were operated only by trained drivers and that they used safe driving techniques.