The owner of most of the rail infrastructure in England, Scotland and Wales, has been charged thousands of pounds after a worker was electrocuted due to health and safety failings.
David McDermott was hit by a 25,000-volt power surge, while working on an overhead line at a station in North Ayrshire, Scotland.
The worker was struck by the current at Ardrossan South Beach station in 2009.
During a hearing at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, Network Rail admitted failing to provide safe working documentation and ensuring work was only done on isolated sections of line.
Mr McDermott and a colleague were working on a mobile platform when the industrial injury occurred.
While fixing an isolated section of cable, a live wire touched the rail worker, surging 25,000 volts through his body.
Sheriff Alistair Watson said no fine would cover the pain and suffering Mr McDermott continues to experience.
Work diagrams are provided to crews carrying out repairs by Network Rail. However, the guide was “hopelessly inaccurate”, the court heard.
The sheriff said: “The obvious failure in the system, which is perhaps self-evident, is the fact that the schematic or diagram used as an essential guide for those involved in the repair operation was hopelessly inaccurate for a considerable length of time, despite it potentially being an issue of life and death importance.
“It appears to have been in continuous use by those who entrusted their safety to their employer. Put bluntly, this meant that a serious accident of this type, while perhaps not inevitable, was eventually highly foreseeable.”
Source: BBC News
Date Published: August 10, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown