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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Amey fined £533,000 after linesman’s shock

Allister Hunt, a self-employed senior linesman for Amey, was injured on Christmas Day 2019 while carrying out remedial snagging works to overhead lines 2.5 miles outside Paddington Station.

The on-site team were unaware that they were working outside the electrical isolation and, as a consequence, Mr Hunt touched the contact wire, live at 25,000 volts. He suffered 55% burns that have required skin grafts. His eyesight and hearing were also both affected.

Amey Rail Limited (ARL) pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which followed an investigation and prosecution by industry regulator the Office of Rail & Road (ORR).

It was issued with a fine of £533,334 and ordered to pay costs of £41,000 and a victim surcharge of £181.

ORR found that ARL had no effective and adequate system in place to ensure that the process of planning the works was carried out in a way that ensured the health and safety of those working on electrical lines.

Further, it did not have effective systems in place to supervise the safe conduct of the works and it failed to ensure that ‘test before touch’ was properly and adequately carried out.

Chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser said: “Mr Hunt suffered terrible, life-changing injuries, and could have died because of Amey Rail Limited’s inadequate measures.

“We welcome this judgement and we hope it sends a clear message to anyone responsible for work on the railway about the need to safeguard those working on it.”

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