Rail Worker Crushed to Death Whilst Cleaning Machine
In late November 2020, Kevin Mauger was crushed to death whilst maintaining a machine at Network Rail’s Long Welded Rail Depot around Eastleigh – near Southampton.
Mauger’s task was to clean the interior of a butt-welder. A butt-welder is takes two sections of rail track and welds them together. Whilst under the impression the machine was safe to clean, a section of track was shifted into the machine with Mauger inside. He was crushed to death by six tons of rail track. The conveyor system of the machine was on the incorrect setting.
What Caused the Crushing?
HSE’s investigation into the accident at work pointed out Network Rail’s failure to provide a safe working environment for maintenance workers on their production line. There was also no adequate risk assessment for the particular type of maintenance Mauger was performing. Amanda Huff, an HSE inspector, said:
“This tragic accident was wholly avoidable, caused by the failure of the company to implement safe systems of work. There were no written isolation procedures in place when they were working on this highly dangerous piece of machinery, and the risk assessment for carrying out maintenance was inadequate – it failed to identify suitable and sufficient control measures. This accident could have been avoided if there had been robust isolation procedures in place, but tragically this was not the case.”
Network Rail’s Corporate Punishment for Crushing the Worker to Death
On the 8th of August 2023, at the West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court, Network Rail pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act (Section 2(1)). They were fined £1.2million and order to pay £11,410 in costs.
No amount of fining can mitigate the loss Mauger’s family has felt. His wife described him as “the core of their family” and his death has left a myriad of mental health problems amongst his 5 children and 8 grandchildren.
Have You or a Loved One Been Crushed at Work?
Accidents at work – particularly in industrial workplaces – are serious. Crushing injuries are amongst some of the leading causes of employee death in the UK. If you have been injured, or you have lost a family member, because of a crushing accident, our team of personal injury experts can help. We can get you the compensation you and your family deserve when the accident was caused by your employer’s negligence. Contact us on 08082391859^ for a free, no-obligation analysis of your claim. We can tell you if your case has merit before worrying about legal costs. And what’s more, all of our claims can be done no win, no fee* which means even less stress in such a difficult time.
« Unnecessary Workplace Practice Sees an Employee’s Fingers Severed by a Bandsaw