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  • Writer's pictureRichard Nichols

Network Rail's £1.2M Fine After Fatal Accident Highlights Significance of Workplace Safety Measures

Network Rail fixing train track

The importance of workplace safety measures has been highlighted in a recent HSE article titled '£1.2million fine for Network Rail after grandad died doing maintenance work' This incident could have been prevented with proper safety protocols and risk assessments in place. The following article emphasizes the need for effective safety procedures and the devastating consequences when they either insufficient or non-existent.

Network Rail has incurred a £1.2 million fine following the death of long-serving employee, Kevin Mauger, who was fatally crushed by a six-ton railway track during maintenance duties at a Hampshire rail depot. The incident unfolded at Network Rail's Long Welded Rail Depot in Eastleigh on November 30th, 2020.

The critical incident unfolded while cleaning a butt-welding machine - a device utilized for joining rail tracks. The machine's conveyor system was on the wrong setting, driving a rail section into its workspace while Kevin was present, tragically resulting in his fatal crushing. In the subsequent investigation, the HSE discovered that Network Rail failed to establish a safe system of work for maintenance on their rail production line, and also failed to provide an adequate risk assessment for this specific task.

Enforcing reliable work protocols along with thorough risk assessments is essential for every industry. The information above clearly demonstrates that lacking the correct procedures doesn’t just result in minor workplace incidents, but can lead to serious injuries and even fatal accidents. By having the right systems in place, you’re actively preventing life-threatening situations, prioritising your employees safety, and ensuring they return home safely after each day of work.

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, pleaded guilty to Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, ultimately accepting responsibility. As a result, the company incurred a substantial £1.2 million fine along with costs amounting to £11,410. HSE inspector Amanda Huff said: “This tragic accident was wholly avoidable, caused by the failure of the company to implement safe systems of work. There were no written isolation procedures in place when they were working on this highly dangerous piece of machinery and the risk assessment for carrying out maintenance was inadequate – it failed to identify suitable and sufficient control measures. This accident could have been avoided if there had been robust isolation procedures in place but tragically this was not the case.”

At Base Solutions we understand that keeping up to date with the correct health and safety procedures for your business can be difficult at times. That’s why were here to help! Our experienced consultants are able to assist you in keeping you employees safe and preventing incidents like the one mentioned in this article. If you have any questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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