London Underground Ltd hit with £500k fine over safety failings

File photo dated 29/01/09 of a general view of a sign for the London underground in central London,

File photo dated 29/01/09 of a general view of a sign for the London underground in central London, as hundreds of Tube drivers are to be balloted for strikes, increasing the threat of travel chaos for millions of passengers in the run-up to Christmas. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The company has been fined £500,000 after an engineer was injured plunging down a lift shaft at the disused South Kentish Town station.

The company has been fined £500,000 after a maintenance worker was injured in the disused South Kentish Town station in 2014.

The worker was hospitalised for ten days with a number of injuries after plummeting 9.5m from a tower scaffold while cleaning an old lift shaft on 22 September 2014.

Originally opened in 1907, the station closed in 1924 as it was rarely used and the front has since been converted into a shop.

An investigation by the Office of Rail and Road found that London Underground failed to properly plan, manage and supervise the work. Evidence showed that procedures in place which could have prevented the incident were not implemented and followed.

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ORR inspectors also found the tower scaffold to be incorrectly assembled while no tests were carried out to determine its stability.

London Underground admitted a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act at Blackfriars Crown Court on 7 October 2016.

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It was ordered to pay a £500,000 fine along with £50,000 costs at the same court last Friday, 2 December.

Keith Atkinson, HM Principal Inspector of Railways, said: “Safety remains a top priority for the rail regulator. We will always take action against companies or individuals where failings are found.”

Following the incident, London Underground fully addressed issues surrounding safe access into the former lift shaft and the incorrectly assembled scaffold.

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