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    MAJOR CONTRACTOR & LUL USED UNSAFE SYSTEM

    Work method to eliminate moving vehicle hazard not adopted

    London Underground and Balfour Beatty have been fined a total of £433,000 after a worker suffered life-changing injuries in June 2016.

    Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Adrian Rascarache, aged 36, was struck by a road rail vehicle (RRV) which crushed his lower body between the vehicle and the platform edge at Whitechapel station, resulting in serious injuries to his pelvis.

    Investigators from ORR found that the defendants were aware of the risks posed when workers guided RRVs by walking along the track in front of the machine. However, there was no safe system of work put in place on the night of the incident to address this risk.

    A decision had been taken not to adopt a procedure (known as ‘send and receive’) which eliminated the need for people to walk between machines. This was considered a slower method of working.

    The RRV is generally used for lifting, digging or leveling track. The machine involved was fitted with a bucket at the time of the incident which restricted the view of the driver.

    Corners cut as response to perceived time pressure

    ORR also found that on the night of the incident the required safety briefings were not delivered before the shift. The signing-in procedure had been “deliberately by-passed”.

    • London Underground Limited – was fined £100,000 for breaching of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, by failing to ensure that persons were not exposed to risks to their health and safety during the activity of moving RRVs; and
    • Balfour Beatty Rail Limited – was fined £333,000 for breaching the same legal requirement.

    Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways said:

    “Today’s sentences send a clear message that the health and safety of workers must not be compromised. In this instance, corners were cut as a response to perceived time pressure. This is unacceptable and resulted in the terrible injuries suffered by Mr Rascarache.

    The safety of workers is an absolute priority for the ORR and we will take appropriate action against organisations or individuals when failings are found.”

     

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