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£130,000 fine after Network Rail worker's electrocution

04 August 2016

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court has fined Network Rail £130,000 after a worker received a 25,000 volt shock while repairing an overhead power line near Ardrossan South Beach station in 2009.

This caused "catastrophic injuries" and the worker has suffered significant loss of function and years of surgery, according to Safety & Health Practitioner.

Network Rail received the penalty after the court heard that it had provided the crews carrying out the repairs with "hopelessly inaccurate" diagrams.

The worker had been on a mobile access platform with a colleague, repairing a section of cable, when he touched a live wire and received the massive electric shock.

After admitting failure to provide safe working documentation, Network Rail also said it had failed to ensure work was only completed on isolated sections of line.

Sheriff Alistair Watson said the diagram in question appeared 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, which perhaps not inevitable, was eventually highly foreseeable."

He also expressed "grave concern" over the time taken for the case to reach court, which was caused by technical difficulties with statements and different agents being involved in the case, said the prosecutors.

It was further stated that Network Rail had since improved its working systems.

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