Health and safety prosecutions

Details of ORR health and safety prosecutions resulting in conviction since 1 April 2006.

Prior to 1 April 2006, the Health and Safety Executive enforced health and safety legislation for railways and you will find relevant notices on the HSE website.

Company prosecuted Brief description Offence date Court hearing Result
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 17 KbOn 24th June 2014, a track worker sustained multiple serious and life-changing injuries while performing rail maintenance work near Redhill in Surrey. The work on the main line between Brighton and London was inadequately planned and managed, placing track maintenance workers in unnecessary danger. The works were scheduled whilst fast, frequent trains continued to run, in an area with a narrow and steep embankment where the ability of track workers to retreat to a 'position of safety' when trains approached was materially compromised. The works could have been carried out at night, when other scheduled works would have ensured that no trains were running.24/06/201409/01/2017£800,00
London Underground Limited pdf icon PDF, 17 KbOn 22 September 2014, an employee of LUL fell 9.5m from a tower scaffold while cleaning a former lift shaft. The worker suffered a number of injuries, spending ten days in hospital. London Underground failed to properly plan, manage and supervise the work and while procedures were available which may have prevented this incident, they were not implemented and followed. The tower scaffold was also found to be incorrectly assembled and its stability had not been assessed.22-09-201402-12-2016£500,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 75 KbIn August 2011, Brenda McFarland, known as Olive, was killed when she was hit by a train at the Gipsy Lane crossing in Needham Market, Suffolk. Warning sirens were recommended for the crossing in 2006 and 2008, but they were not implemented and the crossing had been deemed as high risk in the weeks before Olive’s death. Pedestrians only had a five second warning of oncoming trains and poor visibility of trains when approaching the Gipsy Lane foot crossing, exposing them to an increased risk of being struck by a train.29-01-1999 & 24-08-201121-09-2016£4,000,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 12 KbOn November 16 2009, An employee sustained serious electric burns when he was part of a team carrying out alterations and repairs to the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) the near Ardrossan South Beach station and came into contact with the live OLE.16-11-200901-08-2016£130,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 13 KbIn November 2013, following an investigation into two incidents where rail workers suffered electric shocks while maintaining signalling equipment, ORR served two Improvement Notices on Network Rail. The first Notice required Network Rail to inspect thousands of 650V electrical cabinets. This identified that there were cabinets to which members of the public were exposed. The second Notice required that these were brought up to a safe standard. The company did not make sufficient progress with this work and failed to comply with the Notice by the due date, leading ORR to launch a prosecution.22-02-201404-08-2016£70,000
West Coast Railwaypdf icon PDF, 112 KbOn Saturday 7 March 2015, a steam locomotive operated by West Coast Railway Company (WCRC) between Bristol and Southall passed a signal at danger near Wootton Bassett junction in Wiltshire. The train stopped almost 700 metres after the signal, across a busy junction on the Great Western main line. ORR’s investigation found significant failings in WCRC’s managerial controls. The company had not implemented appropriate procedures, training or monitoring of staff to stop intentional misuse of the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) equipment and the train driver, Melvyn Cox, directed a colleague to turn off this essential safety system, designed to automatically apply an emergency brake.07-03-201527-06-2016£200,000
Babock Rail pdf icon PDF, 79 Kb 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, Flintshire, North East Wales. The 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.
08-03-2013 05-02-2016 £400,000
Carillion Construction Limited pdf icon PDF, 20 Kb On 4 December 2012, Scott Dobson was working as Controller of Site Safety (COSS) for Carillion Construction Limited. He was looking after a small team of trackside operatives who were carrying out maintenance work on the track.  Whilst looking out for their safety, he neglected his own by standing in a position of danger and was struck by a passing train and killed. He had been involved in two other incidents with health and safety implications previously and should not have been in a safety role until the incidents had been fully investigated. Carillion pleaded guilty to a number of failings in the planning and management of the work. Only one of the two railway lines had been blocked while maintenance was being done, whereas both lines should have been closed, to minimise the possibility of workers being struck by passing trains. 04-12-2012 11-01-2016 £200,000
Xervon Palmers (formerly ThyrssenKrupp Palmers) pdf icon PDF, 26 Kb On 28th January 2010, David Rodger died on the Tay Rail Bridge while he was working on the stripping and repainting of the bridge support piers. He was overcome with fumes after not being given the correct protective clothing or equipment. He was wearing a paper dust mask for protection, rather than full breathing apparatus. Proper ventilation or extraction equipment was also not in place and the company had decided he was not working in a "confined space". There was no monitoring of oxygen levels in the area, as well as inadequate supervision and a lack of rescue facilities in the event of an accident.
A post-mortem examination had determined Mr Rodger's cause of death as being toluene toxicity - meaning he had inhaled significant quantities of the chemical, which can cause severe neurological harm.
Mr Rodger had been working on pier 44 of the bridge in the early hours of the morning before he died. His colleagues became concerned when he did not return after his shift.
28-01-2010 21-12-2015 £200,000
Andrew McKenna
pdf icon PDF, 24 Kb
On 26 April 2012, Andrew McKenna, a qualified train driver, was driving a Devon and Cornwall Railways locomotive from Birmingham to Crewe. Two crucial safety devices – the Driver Safety Device (DSD) and National Radio Network (NRN) radio – stopped working shortly after he set off. Going by his training and the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) Rule Book, he should have notified the signaller immediately so that he could get instructions that allow the train to safely continue the journey or to move to a safer place where the train could be assessed. He did not do that. Once on the West Coast Main Line, the train's speedometer also stopped working and he chose to ignore safety procedures for the second time by failing to stop the locomotive and notify the signaller. 26-04-2012 23-07-2015 £2,000
LBR (London Midland) and JSS Rail Limited (Sisk Rail) pdf icon PDF, 95 Kb Train operator London & Birmingham Railway Limited (London Midland) and construction company JSS Rail Limited (Sisk Rail) were prosecuted for breaches of health and safety law after failing to ensure public safety during the refurbishment of Berkhamstead station, Hertfordshire, in 2012, which led to a passenger being seriously injured after falling down a stairway. 13-Jun-2012 24-Apr-2015 £25,000 (£12,500 each)
Scott Walford
pdf icon PDF, 20 Kb
Serious SPAD (Signal passed at danger) at Hitchin. The driver, Scott Walford, had failed to set up his cab secure radio, then on passing the signal at danger reset the Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) and continued. The signaller to driver communication failed due to the radio not being set up for the journey. The train was eventually stopped by a general emergency broadcast, two signal sections beyond the SPAD. 08-Sep-2013 07-Nov-2014 £500
BAM Nuttall Ltd pdf icon PDF, 21 Kb BAM Nuttall Ltd was the principal contractor employed by Network Rail to demolish and replace Pouparts Bridge, located between Clapham Junction and Battersea Park in South London. The company had sub-contracted the lifting elements of the work to Balfour Beatty Rail Ltd. On 27 December 2010, Balfour Beatty construction workers were preparing to lift a steel and concrete 'L' shaped beam, weighing approximately six tonnes, by crane from a railway wagon into its new position on the bridge. The beam toppled over as it was being unsecured from the wagon, crushing the legs of a worker just above the ankle on the floor of the rail wagon. He suffered severe injuries which led to one leg being amputated. 27-Dec-2010 30-Sep-2014 £140,000
SW Global Resourcing Limited pdf icon PDF, 25 Kb Mr Leslie Watson, an employee of SW Global Resourcing, was working from the basket of a MEWP positioned at a height of approximately 13 metres (42 feet) at Annick Water Viaduct, Stewarton, Ayrshire. The plinth that the MEWP was positioned on had been built with no end stop or edge protection to remove the risk of the MEWP falling from it. The MEWP drove off the edge of the concrete plinth and overturned, throwing Mr Watson from its basket against a column of the viaduct and from there to the shallow river bed. He died at the scene as a result of his injuries. 13-Apr-2010 16-Sep-2014 £200,000
Balfour Beatty Rail Projects Ltd
pdf icon PDF, 20 Kb
On 27 March 2011, rail workers subcontracted by Balfour Beatty as part of the Thameslink project, were installing high voltage cable next to overhead lines near Cricklewood in North West London. As a worker checked the distance between the newly installed cable and overhead wire, he made contact with the live wire and suffered 45% burns which required extensive skin graft surgery. 27-Mar-11 09-Sep-14 £350,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd pdf icon PDF, 26 Kb On 11th June 2008, three Network Rail employees were injured when a mobile elevated work platform on which they were working, during the repair of damaged overhead lines on an area of track near Margaretting in Essex, detached. They were thrown to the ground. One of the three, Malcolm Slater, later died from his injuries. 11-Jun-08 10-Sept-13 £125,000
Barhale Construction plc pdf icon PDF, 16 Kb On the 2 July 2011, one of ORR's Inspectors of Railways attended the site of a Network Rail construction project at River Gowy, near Chester as part of a routine visit. 30-Sep-03 3-Jul-13 £13,000
First Capital Connect pdf icon PDF, 26 Kb On the 26th May 2011, during the evening rush hour peak, approximately 800 passengers were trapped on a broken down train for approximately three hours at Dock Junction between St Pancras International and Kentish Town stations following a power failure. 26-May-11 16-Sep-13 £75,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 31 Kb Network Rail were fined for breaches of health and safety law which led to a 10 year old boy sustaining serious head injuries when the vehicle he was a passenger in was hit by a train on an unmanned level crossing near Beccles, Suffolk in 2010. The court heard the crossing did not have a phone in place so that people could check if trains were due. The train was travelling at 55mph (90km/h) when the vehicle was struck, throwing the boy from the vehicle where he sustained head injuries after landing on the track. ORR established that the crash was caused by poor visibility when people were crossing from the south side. 03-Jul-10 27-Jun-13 £500,000
Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, and SSE Contracting Ltd pdf icon PDF, 33 Kb Breaches of health and safety law which led to an electrician being injured after falling from height. 09-Dec-10 31-May-13 £48,000
Babcock Rail and Swietelsky Construction pdf icon PDF, 34 Kb Breaches of health and safety law that led to two rail workers being seriously injured when carrying out repairs to a ballast regulator. 25-Mar-09 19-Apr-13 £60,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, and GT Railway Maintenance (trading as Carillion Rail) pdf icon PDF, 31 Kb Breaches of health and safety law led to the death of Mr Liam Robinson, a GT Railway Maintenance employee who had been undertaking maintenance on a Network Rail owned machine, when an electrical fault caused the machine to move, trapping Mr Robinson inside. 30-Sep-03 22-Mar-13 £312,500
London Underground Limited, Tube Lines Limited and Schweerbau GMBH pdf icon PDF, 33 Kb Breaches of health and safety law which led to an engineering train running out of control for over four miles on the London Underground Northern Line. 13-Aug-10 28-Feb-13 £300,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 38 Kb Breaches of health and safety law which resulted in the serious injury of a Network Rail track maintenance worker. The court heard evidence that the work was inadequately planned by unqualified personnel and, despite safer methods being available, was scheduled to be carried out whilst trains continued to run, placing the track maintenance workers in unnecessary danger. 30-Mar-10 26-Feb-13 £100,000
English, Welsh and Scottish Railways International (EWSI) pdf icon PDF, 30 Kb English, Welsh and Scottish Railways International (EWSI) were fined for breaches of health and safety law which led to the death of Liam Gill, aged 13, and the serious injury of two teenage boys, aged 14, at Allerton rail depot in Liverpool. 09-Aug-09 16-Nov-12 £180,000
Wensleydale Railway pdf icon PDF, 81 Kb Wensleydale Railway were fined for breaches of health and safety law which led to a collision between a train and a car at a level crossing near Newton-le-Willows in North Yorkshire. 01-Aug-11 19-Nov-12 £4,000
Telford Steam Railway pdf icon PDF, 34 Kb Telford Steam Railway were fined for criminal breaches of health and safety law, which left a member of its staff with extensive injuries. The incident occurred when a 450kg length of rail was moved from a wagon to the trackside by a crane, and struck a member of staff, who suffered extensive injuries to both legs. 02-Jul-11 10-Jul-12 £5,000
Southeastern Limited pdf icon PDF, 29 Kb Southeastern were fined for two breaches of health and safety law which led to a train running out of control for over three miles in East Sussex. 08-Nov-10 06-Jul-12 £65,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 30 Kb Network Rail's failure to act on substantial evidence that pedestrians using the crossing had insufficient sight of approaching trains. Pedestrians were therefore exposed to an increased safety risk when using the crossing. This resulted in the death at the footpath. 06-May-09 12-Jun-12 £356,250
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 30 Kb Network Rail Infrastructure Limited were fined for breaches of health and safety law which led to the death of one Network Rail maintenance worker, and the serious injury of another, in two incidents that took place in the Thames Valley region. 29 Apr and 23 May 2007 25-May-12 £150,000
Frank Smith pdf icon PDF, 29 Kb Frank Smith was driving a South West Trains service from Twickenham to London Waterloo when he overran the platform at St Margaret's station, where it was due to stop. After using the emergency brake, the train came to rest past a signal at the end of the platform. 13-Feb-11 01-May-12 £400
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 30 Kb Network Rail's failure to provide and implement suitable and sufficient standards, procedures, guidance, training, tools and resources for the inspection and maintenance of fixed stretcher-bar points led to a train derailing at Grayrigg, causing the death of one passenger and injuring 86 people. 27-Feb-07 04-Apr-12 £4,000,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 30 Kb Network Rail were fined for two breaches of health and safety law which led to the deaths of two teenage girls at Elsenham station footpath crossing. 03-Dec-05 15-Mar-12 £1,000,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 19 Kb A train struck two grinding trolleys placed on the line by track workers for maintenance purposes. This was as a result of Network Rail failing to provide a safe system of work through failing to plan and review risk prevention measures for the carrying out of maintenance work by their employees, placing them at risk of being struck by trains. 24-Jun-08 01-Dec-11 £20,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 19 Kb Network Rail had failed to properly consider the impact of the position of a building it had installed alongside New Barn level crossing. The building severely restricted visibility at the crossing, especially for those driving farm vehicles over the private level crossing, resulting in an increased risk of a train colliding with vehicles using the crossing. 4 May 2009 to 24 Sep 2009 18-Oct-11 £20,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 19 Kb The incident occurred when a lorry delivering to a Network Rail construction site in Barrow Upon Soar, Leicestershire, struck a footbridge over the railway. The footbridge subsequently collapsed, blocking the rail line, and shortly afterwards a Nottingham to Norwich train, travelling at 65 mph, crashed into the debris and derailed. 01-Feb-08 03-Oct-11 £80,000
Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Ltd pdf icon PDF, 18 Kb Stationary train undergoing repairs at Kirkdale depot in Liverpool running onto the main line and crashing into a buffer and a wall. The runaway train narrowly avoided colliding with a passenger train. 30-Jun-09 23-May-11 £85,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited pdf icon PDF, 18 Kb Network Rail failed, as infrastructure controller for the national rail network, to provide and implement suitable and sufficient standards, procedures and guidance for the installation, maintenance and inspection of adjustable stretcher bars, leading to a fatal derailment at Potters Bar. 10-May-02 13-May-11 £3,000,000
Network Rail Ltd pdf icon PDF, 30 Kb Network Rail pleaded guilty to not preventing unauthorised access to the railway, by failing to adequately maintain trackside boundary fences at Whisby Nature Park. 18-Sep-09 08-Mar-11 £15,000
London Underground Limited pdf icon PDF, 30 Kb During building work at Cannon Street station, the main entrance had a raised step across the threshold to the station, over which a number of people tripped and fell down the stairs inside the station, resulting in a number of serious injuries to 13 members of the public. The incidents occurred over a 6 month period. 21-Sep-09 17-Dec-10 £7,000
Network Rail pdf icon PDF, 30 Kb A teenager was struck and killed by a freight train at West Lodge level crossing, Haltwhistle. Our investigation found that Network Rail should have taken steps to reduce the risks of using the crossing, including instructing pedestrians to telephone the signaller before attempting to cross. 22-Jan-08 26-Nov-10 £75,000
London Underground Limited pdf icon PDF, 31 Kb Three women were struck by a protective barrier that had come loose from a Central Line train at Mile End station. Our investigation found that LUL did not follow its own procedures to prevent this type of accident and, through poor communication, failed to either secure or remove the barrier. 15-Nov-09 05-Nov-10 £5,000
South West Trains Ltd pdf icon PDF, 21 Kb Failing to ensure the health and safety of people working in South West Trains Ltd's Wimbledon depot, where a worker suffered a broken after he was struck by a hook, which was being used to tow a train into a maintenance shed. 01-Jun-09 11-Jun-10 £15,000
Serco Limited pdf icon PDF, 21 Kb Failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that persons not in its employment were not exposed to risks to their health and safety, in that it failed to ensure that automatic trains operating on the Docklands Light Railway system did not hit persons who were on the tracks. 02-Apr-07 30-Apr-10 £450,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd pdf icon PDF, 16 Kb Failing to ensure the safety of train passengers, train crew and road users by inadequately maintaining the level crossing at Croxton, near Thetford, Norfolk, following an incident involving the derailment of a train. 12-Sep-06 16-Jul-09 £70,000
Cabin Club Limited pdf icon PDF, 15 Kb Failing to ensure the health and safety of people working in Network Rail's Chadwell Heath depot, where a worker received extensive burns after he cut into a buried cable believing it to be a redundant oil pipe. 05-Feb-07 10-Feb-09 £20,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd pdf icon PDF, 15 Kb Failing to ensure the health and safety of people working in Network Rail's Chadwell Heath depot, where a worker received extensive burns after he cut into a buried cable believing it to be a redundant oil pipe. 05-Feb-07 10-Feb-09 £75,000
Maintrain Limited pdf icon PDF, 11 Kb At Maintrain Limited's Soho light maintenance depot in Handsworth, Birmingham, a maintenance worker received an electric shock whilst removing a cover used to protect the train axles. The train, which should have been isolated, was electrified at the time. He suffered significant muscle damage to his chest, burns to his hands and required treatment to his legs which resulted in him being off work for two months. 16-Feb-07 12-Jan-09 £75,000
Jarvis Rail Limited pdf icon PDF, 20 Kb The residual current device (RCD) was defective and had been out of action for at least 20 months, despite several maintenance visits identifying the fault and the need for action. This resulted in two Channel Tunnel Rail Link workers who were carrying out repairs receiving an electric shock when they touched the perimeter fence. There was also a danger to members of the public who walking next to the line could have also received an electric shock had they touched the fence. 23-Apr-05 19-Sep-08 £66,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd pdf icon PDF, 19 Kb The residual current device (RCD) was defective and had been out of action for at least 20 months, despite several maintenance visits identifying the fault and the need for action. This resulted in two Channel Tunnel Rail Link workers who were carrying out repairs receiving an electric shock when they touched the perimeter fence. There was also a danger to members of the public who walking next to the line could have also received an electric shock had they touched the fence. 23-Apr-05 19-Sep-08 £120,000
Amey Rail Limited pdf icon PDF, 16 Kb Failure to ensure the safety of employees and others who might be affected by its work, which resulted in the death of a track worker who was struck by a passenger train when stepping down from the cab of an engineering train. 11-Jun-05 29-May-08 £20,000
LH Access Technology Ltd pdf icon PDF, 19 Kb Death of a worker operating a defective mobile elevating work platform outside Edinburgh Waverley Station. 21-Mar-06 22-May-08 £240,000
Border Rail and Plant Ltd pdf icon PDF, 19 Kb Death of a worker operating a defective mobile elevating work platform outside Edinburgh Waverley Station. 21-Mar-06 22-May-08 £240,000
Balfour Beatty Rail Projects Ltd pdf icon PDF, 22 Kb During overnight work to upgrade WCML, overhead line remained live. Despite warnings about their isolation procedures from own safety staff, no improvements were made resulting in employee of Elec -Track Installations suffering burns after receiving electric shock from overhead line. 01-Jul-03 09-May-08 £200,000
GT Railway Maintenance Ltd pdf icon PDF, 22 Kb During overnight work to upgrade WCML, overhead line remained live. Despite warnings about their isolation procedures from own safety staff, no improvements were made resulting in employee of Elec -Track Installations suffering burns after receiving electric shock from overhead line. 01-Jul-03 09-May-08 £200,000
Elec-Track Installations pdf icon PDF, 22 Kb During overnight work to upgrade WCML, overhead line remained live. Despite warnings about their isolation procedures from own safety staff, no improvements were made resulting in employee of Elec -Track Installations suffering burns after receiving electric shock from overhead line. 01-Jul-03 09-May-08 £200,000
English, Welsh and Scottish Railways Ltd pdf icon PDF, 16 Kb Failure to maintain the electrical control and indication apparatus, that resulted in a maintenance fitter coming into contact with a live 25k overhead line whilst working on top of a locomotive and sustaining 30% burns. 11-Jan-06 26-Jun-07 £30,000
Kier Rail pdf icon PDF, 11 Kb Train struck two loaded wheelbarrows being used by contractors who were repointing brickwork at Manor Park Station. The train was not derailed and the contractors received only minor injuries. 19-Mar-06 18-Apr-07 £5,000
Balfour Beatty Rail Infrastructure Ltd pdf icon PDF, 11 Kb Track worker was electrocuted and fatally injured through coming into contact with the live third rail. Aug-03 19-Feb-07 £180,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd pdf icon PDF, 10 Kb A track worker acting as a lookout, was hit a by a train and suffered fatal injuries. Inadequate precautions had been taken to plan a safe system of work. 05-Apr-05 13-Nov-06 £130,000
Scotweld Limited pdf icon PDF, 10 Kb Track worker acting as a lookout, was hit a by a train and suffered fatal injuries. Inadequate precautions had been taken to plan a safe system of work. 05-Apr-05 13-Nov-06 £33,000
Amey Rail Limited pdf icon PDF, 10 Kb Deficient track maintenance caused the train to derail while passing over a points crossover. Fortunately the train remained upright and there were no injuries amongst the passengers. 24-Nov-02 12-Sep-06 £300,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd pdf icon PDF, 10 Kb Deficient track maintenance caused the train to derail while passing over a points crossover. Fortunately the train remained upright and there were no injuries amongst the passengers. 24-Nov-02 12-Sep-06 £200,000
GrantRail Limited pdf icon PDF, 10 Kb Platelayer received an electric shock from the 25,000 volt overhead line equipment at Harlow Mill Station. 05-May-02 11-May-06 £100,000