Published on : Tuesday, January 10, 2017
The authorities of Network Rail need to pay almost £1 million fine for causing railway staff ‘life-changing’ injuries after a train hit him with a speed of around 80 mph to 90 mph while he was working on the rail track on the Quarry Line in Redhill on 24th June in 2014. Network Rail was charged with two counts on 9th January, after the railway failed to ensure the safety, welfare and health at work of their employee ‘Allen Evans’, under the Health and Safety Act.
Allen Evans, who used to work as a Network Rail manager, had to go through 22 surgical procedures after the train struck him and the doctors believe that they might need to amputate his right arm.
On 9th January, Monday, at the Guildford Crown Court, the law enforcement came to know that Evans was hit by the train with a speed of around 80 mph to 90 mph while he was walking along the railway track to carry out urgent repair work. During the hearing, the company Network Rail was pleaded guilty by the court with two charges and the court “in no way held Mr Evans responsible”.
The authorities of the Network Rail later accepted their mistake and informed that the work, which Evans was doing, should be done in a ‘Red Zone’ instead of a ‘Green Zone’.
According to Graham Watson from the prosecution, some of the group said they felt uncomfortable being so close to the trains and had to sit or squat on the side of the embankment – which was far from ideal. He also informed that an eyewitness heard a loud bang before Evans was found on the embankment after being hit. He was later airlifted to the St George’s Hospital in Tooting, where the medical team termed his injuries to be ‘life-changing’.
According to Oliver Campbell for the defence, it had been accepted that the company’s plan and decision to do this work in a Red Zone was an error – but for the right reasons.
The managing director of Network Rail, John Halsall expressed after the sentence, that their thoughts were with Mr Evans and his family as the consequences of this accident continue to affect their lives. He also added that safety was their absolute priority and it was clear that they fell short in this instance, so, they made several changes to the way they work following this incident, including banning working while trains are running on this particular stretch of railway.
The authorities of Network Rail were fined with £400,000 for each charge by the Judge Stephen Climie.