The Office of Rail and Road has announced that Network Rail has been fined £200,000 with £86,000 costs after being convicted of one offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.
The sentence was passed by HHJ Statman sitting at Maidstone Crown Court. Network Rail was found guilty on 11 May, following a trial which lasted 14 days.
The court heard that signaller Douglas Caddell, 65, had suffered life-changing injuries after being struck by a level crossing gate, which had been hit by a car. This happened as he tried to close the gate at East Farleigh Station in Kent on 24 April 2015.
The Office of Rail and Road’s investigation into the incident revealed that Network Rail’s risk assessment was inadequate. Despite the foreseeable risk of a driver failing to see that the gates were being closed, Network Rail had done little to protect its employees.
What did the officials say?
Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, said:
“Mr Caddell suffered life-changing injuries in this incident and the sentence indicates just how seriously the offence is quite rightly viewed.
“We are absolutely committed to protecting the health and safety of passengers and railway staff and will not hesitate to take enforcement action or to prosecute when necessary.
“Network Rail has introduced safety measures at East Farleigh and we would expect to see proper risk assessments made at similar level crossings up and down the country and necessary safety measures taken.”
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