RMT slams “pathetic” fine handed out to contractor after rail worker death
RAIL UNION RMT today slammed as “pathetic” and “wholly inadequate” a fine handed out to a major rail construction company for a series of failures that led to the avoidable death of one of their workers
Carillion Construction Ltd has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,570.39 following a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for breaching health and safety laws which led to the death of a Scott Dobson. On 4 December 2012, Scott, from Doncaster, was carrying out maintenance work near Saxilby, Lincolnshire, when he was struck by a passing train.
As part of its statutory duties, ORR investigated and found a series of failings in Carillion’s planning and management of the work. Only one of the two railway lines had been blocked while maintenance was being done, whereas both lines should have been closed, to minimise the possibility of workers being struck by passing trains.
Carillion Construction Ltd pleaded guilty at Lincolnshire Magistrates’ Court.
Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways told the press:
“This accident was wholly avoidable, had Carillion Construction Ltd followed health and safety rules set out for the railways. Our sympathies are with Mr Dobson’s family.
“The safety of workers and passengers is a top priority for the regulator, which is why ORR inspectors are out on the railway daily, monitoring to ensure safety isn’t compromised.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“A fine of £200,000 to a giant company like Carillion is peanuts and will be written off as petty cash. This is a pathetic and wholly inadequate penalty for a series of corporate errors that led to the wholly avoidable death of Scott Dobson.
“This tragedy must serve as a wake-up call to Network Rail and our industry as a whole. The culture of contracting and casualisation on our railways means that corners are being cut and safety compromised. That cash-led gambling with rail workers’ lives has to stop and should be called to a halt right now before we have more avoidable deaths on our hands.”