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    NETWORK RAIL FINED £1M OVER LEVEL CROSSING DEATHS

    Risk assessments must be underpinned by adequate safety arrangements

    Network Rail has been fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £60,015 for breaches of health and safety law which led to the deaths of two young girls, Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson, at an Essex station footpath crossing in December 2005.

    The company failed to carry out proper assessments of the risks to the safety of members of the public using the footpath crossing or to have in place adequate arrangements to underpin these assessments.

    Safety culture improved since arrival on new chief

    Network Rail pleaded guilty to two charges under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and to one charge under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

    The sentencing at took place Chelmsford Crown Court where ORR’s director of railway safety, Ian Prosser, said:

    “Network Rail failed Olivia and Charlie and their families by not addressing the safety risks at the crossing, and the consequences were devastating. It is right that the company has apologised and pleaded guilty to breaches of health and safety law that led to their tragic and preventable deaths.

    I support Sir David Higgins’ moves since his arrival to enhance the safety culture at Network Rail, and his focus on driving safety improvements at level crossings. But despite progress, it is clear that Network Rail has significant work still to do.

    Today I would like to pay tribute to Olivia and Charlie’s families and to the inspectors at ORR for their dedication and perseverance over the years. I am determined that the whole rail industry focuses on pushing forward safety improvements.”

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