Babcock Rail fined £400,000 after track worker injured in Flintshire

5 February 2016

Engineering company, Babcock Rail Limited, has today been fined £400,000 for breaching of health and safety laws which led to a rail worker suffering injuries while renewing rail track in Flintshire, north-east Wales, two years ago. This follows a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

On 8 March 2013, a Babcock Rail employee was struck by a Road-Rail Vehicle (RRV), and trapped against the platform edge of Hope Railway Station. This serious incident left the rail worker with injuries to their legs, abdomen and back.

ORR’s investigation found Babcock Rail was aware that there was a risk of collision between maintenance vehicles and workers renewing the track at Hope Station. However, the company failed to take appropriate steps to prevent its employees coming to harm following inadequate planning, coordination and communication between managers. A 3mph speed limit for vehicles was not being monitored or enforced, and no attempts were made to set up exclusion zones or positions of safety for those working near moving vehicles.

Ian Prosser, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Railways said:

This was an avoidable incident which left a rail worker with serious injuries. Babcock Rail’s safety management fell below the standards required, as inadequate planning and coordination of track renewals placed workers in unnecessary danger.
Safety of rail workers is one of the regulator’s key priorities and we will take appropriate action against companies or individuals wherever failings are found.

Notes to editors:

  • The Office of Rail and Road is the independent economic and safety rail regulator for the United Kingdom and the strategic roads monitor for England.
  • Follow the Office of Rail and Road on Twitter: @railregulation or @HighwaysMonitor
  • ORR prosecuted Babcock Rail Limited for breaches under Section 2(1)of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Babcock Rail Limited pleaded guilty at Mold Magistrates’ Court on 15 January 2016 and was sentenced at Mold Crown Court.