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Network Rail fined £150,000 following death and serious injury of workers

Network Rail has been fined £150,000 following a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) for breaches of health and safety law which led to the death of one Network Rail maintenance worker in 2007, and the serious injury of another in 2008.

It has also been ordered to pay costs of £32,500.

The ORR prosecuted following two incidents that took place in the Thames Valley region. Network Rail fined £150,000 following the death and serious injury of workers in the Thames Valley region.

On 29 April 2007, in the Ruscombe area near Twyford, track maintenance worker, Charlie Stockwell, was struck by a train and killed whilst conducting welding work. The following year, on 23 May at Kennington Junction near Hinksey, track maintenance worker, David Coles, was also struck by a train, and severed his leg, while testing the locking mechanism on track points.

Friday’s sentencing at Reading Crown Court follows an ORR investigation into the two incidents, both of which involved ‘Red Zone’ working where work carried out on lines where trains continue to run. The ORR’s investigation found that Network Rail had failed to ensure the safety of its employees working on the sites.

Since the incidents, Network Rail has made a number of changes to improve safety for its track maintenance workers. These include progress in reducing the amount of red zone working. In the last two years Network Rail has increased the amount of maintenance work carried out at times when no trains are running from 50% to 75%. Additionally, tests on the locking mechanism of points are now carried out at a time when no trains are running.

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