Balfour Beatty fined £333,000 after worker crushed

4 December 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Balfour Beatty and London Underground have been fined a total of £433,000 after a worker was crushed by a road rail vehicle (RRV), suffering life-changing injuries.

Adrian Rascarache, 36, was working in the early hours of 4 June 2016 when his lower body was crushed between the RRV and the platform edge of Whitechapel station, resulting in serious injuries to his pelvis.

An Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation 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 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 Rascarache’s injury, workers were not given the required safety briefings before starting their shift, as the signing-in procedure had been deliberately bypassed.

The machine involved was fitted with a bucket at the time of the incident which restricted the driver’s view. Rascarache was not directing the driver at the time of the incident.

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."

London Underground was ordered to pay a £100,000 fine while Balfour Beatty has to pay out £333,000. The two companies were also ordered to pay £30,000 in costs each.

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