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London Underground and Balfour Beatty fined after worker crushed

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London Underground Limited has been fined £100,000 while Balfour Beatty Rail Limited has been ordered to pay £333,000 after a worker suffered life-changing injuries.


Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how in the early hours of 4 June 2016, 36-year-old Adrian Rascarache had been struck while at work at London’s Whitechapel station by a Road Rail Vehicle (RRV).

His lower body was crushed between the RRV and the platform edge of Whitechapel station, resulting in serious injuries to his pelvis.

It was heard at sentencing on 3 December how, despite London Underground and Balfour Beatty being aware of the risks posed by allowing workers to guide RRVs by walking along the track in front of the machine, there was no safe system of work put in place that night to address the risk.

In fact, a decision had been taken not to adopt a procedure called ‘send and receive’, which eliminated the need for people to walk between machines, as it was considered a slower method of working.

Office of Rail and Road (ORR), prosecuting, also found that on the night of Mr Rascarache’s injury, workers were not given the required safety briefings before starting their shift, as the signing-in procedure had been deliberately by-passed.

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways said that the sentences sent a clear message: "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."

Whitechapel station, where the incident ocurred. Photograph: geograph / Ben Brooksbank

NEWS


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