Network Rail fined £1.2m after man crushed inside machine

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Network Rail has been fined £1.2 million after its failure to implement a safe system of work caused a long-standing employee and grandfather to be killed.

On 30 November 2020, Kevin Mauger, 53, had been carrying out maintenance work in Hampshire when he was flattened by a railway track weighing six tonnes.

The incident occurred on Network Rail’s rail production line at the Long Welded Rail Depot off Dutton Lane in Eastleigh.

He had been cleaning the inside of a butt-welding machine – a machine that welds two sections of rail tracks together.

Long-standing Network Rail employee and grandfather, Kevin Mauger was killed doing maintenance work. Photograph: HSE

But the machine’s conveyor system was on the wrong setting, which caused a section of rail track to enter the machine while Kevin was inside. He was crushed and died at the scene.

HSE found Network Rail had failed to ensure a safe system of work for maintenance work on its rail production line. The railway infrastructure owner had also failed to provide an adequate risk assessment for the maintenance work.

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, of Waterloo, London, was fined £1.2 million for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Investigating 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.”

She added: “This accident could have been avoided if there had been robust isolation procedures in place but tragically this was not the case.”
Kevin leaves behind five children and eight grandchildren. His wife Rachel said: “Kevin was the core of our family, he was the one everyone turned to for help. His death has left a hole that can never be filled.”


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