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LONDON UNDERGROUND FINED £1/2M OVER FALL

Maintenance worker fell from unsafe tower scaffold in disused shaft

London Underground Ltd has been fined £500,000 for a breach of Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after a maintenance worker was injured in a disused London underground station in 2014. The company was also ordered to pay costs of £50,000.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard that the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigated the incident where the workman fell 9.5m from a tower scaffold whilst cleaning a former lift shaft. He suffered a number of injuries and spent ten days in hospital.

ORR investigators found London Underground failed to properly plan, manage and supervise the work.

Evidence showed procedures were available which may have prevented this incident, however the procedures were not implemented and followed. ORR inspectors also found the tower scaffold was incorrectly assembled and stability of the tower had not been assessed.

Enforcement notices issued

ORR served two prohibition notices on London Underground after the incident which concerned safe access into the former lift shaft and assembly of the scaffold.

Keith Atkinson, HM Principal Inspector of Railways said:

“In 2014, London Underground’s failure to properly plan, manage or supervise maintenance work at the disused station in South Kentish Town, led to a worker spending ten days in hospital, and could have been fatal.

London Underground has a good safety record, but this incident highlights why there can be no room for complacency.

Safety remains a top priority for the rail regulator. We will always take action against companies or individuals where failings are found.”

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