Network Rail and signalman found guilty of Health and Safety violations

25/02/2013

Network Rail and one of their signalmen, Adrian Maund, 42, have today been both found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of breaching the Health and Safety Act.

On 16 January 2010, a train travelling from Manchester to Milford Haven collided with a car at the Moreton-on-Lugg, Herefordshire, crossing which resulted in the driver of the car being seriously injured and the death of the passenger, Jane Harding

A detailed investigation was carried out and Adrian Maund, who was the signalman responsible for that particular level crossing, was charged with one count under Section 7 of the Health and Safety Act 1974 for failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of other people likely to be affected by his actions or omissions at work.

Network Rail were also charged under Section 3 of the Health and Safety Act 1974 which imposes a duty on an employer to conduct their undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in their employment who may be affected thereby are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

Jayne Salt, Head of the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Complex Casework Unit, said:

"Adrian Maund and Network Rail both played very different parts in the tragic death of Jane Harding.

 "Mr Maund made a mistake in raising the level crossing barriers when a train was approaching. Whilst his was a momentary error, his failure to follow procedures and checks, as he had been trained to do, has rightly resulted in his conviction.

"His employers, on the other hand, made a deliberate decision not to install a safety device which would have detected the oncoming train and kept the barriers down. That decision was based on cost.

"It is right that an organisation that holds the safety of the public in its hands on a daily basis has been held to account for its decision making.

"My thoughts are with Mrs Harding's family and I hope that this result gives them some small measure of comfort."