The operator of Tyne & Wear Metro has been fined £1.5 million after a maintenance worker was electrocuted.
A court heard that the worker died while working at height carrying out maintenance work on high voltage overhead cables.
Operator Nexus pleaded guilty to charges after the worker was electrocuted after coming into contact with the wire that he believed was isolated from the power supply. It was in fact live, due to the incorrect installation of equipment.
In its investigation of the case, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) found safety critical procedures were ignored and some continued for a substantial period after the workers death. This included failures to allow work to be carried out without the appropriate instructions for workers to prevent injury, as well as work being undertaken without the required safety critical permits and also ‘serious inadequacies in policy documents covering live line working, which failed to include a requirement for staff to test all electrical wires before carrying out work.
Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways at ORR said: “Nexus’ working practices were poor and continued for a long time. This meant Nexus did not have the right measures in place to assess whether the Metro was being maintained safely.”