London Underground and Balfour Betty fined £433,000 after worker suffers serious injuries

Credit: Disused Stations

The Office of Rail and Road has announced that London Underground Limited and Balfour Beatty Rail Limited have been fined £100,000 & £333,000 respectively after pleading guilty to breaking health and safety laws.

The law breach has led to a worker suffering life-changing injuries.

In the early hours of 4 June 2016, Mr. Adrian Rascarache, 36, was struck by a Road Rail Vehicle, and his lower body was crushed between the RRV and the platform edge of Whitechapel station, resulting in serious injuries to his pelvis.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that the investigation, completed by the ORR, found that 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 actual 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.

ORR 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.

What did the officials say?

Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways said:

“Today’s sentences send a clear message that 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.”

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