Amey fined £533,000 after worker electrocuted

Amey Rail Ltd has been fined £533,000 by industry regulator the Office of Rail and Road after a worker was electrocuted.

On Christmas Day 2019, Allister Hunt, a self-employed senior linesman for Amey, touched a live contact wire running 25,000 volts and suffered 55 per cent burns, which required multiple skin grafts. His eyesight and hearing were also damaged in the incident.

Amey pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 following an investigation into the life-changing accident.

Hunt was conducting remedial snagging work to overhead lines 2.5 miles from Paddington station.

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

“We welcome this judgment 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.”

Amey Rail Ltd was issued with a £533,334 fine and ordered to pay costs of £41,000, as well as a victim surcharge of £181.

The Office of Rail and Road found Amey had no effective system in place to ensure that works were carried out in a way that prioritised the health and safety of workers on electrical lines.

The contractor also did not have adequate systems in place to supervise the works being conducted.

Amey failed to ensure that the Test Before Touch safety process was properly carried out.

Test Before Touch is a test that must be done when an overhead-line permit is issued and a person is expected to come within 60cm of an exposed conductor.

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