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Maintenance worker spent ten days in hospital after falling down shaft at disused South Kentish Town station

London Underground was fined £500,000 for breaching safety laws

03 December, 2016 — By Geoffrey Sawyer

The old station building in Kentish Town

London Underground Ltd has been fined £500,000 for breaches of health and safety law after a maintenance worker was injured at the disused South Kentish Town station.

The penalty follows an investigation by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) into an incident in September 2014, which saw a worker fall 9.5m from a tower scaffold while cleaning a former lift shaft. The worker suffered a number of injuries, spending ten days in hospital.

The ORR’s investigation found London Underground, which was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday (Friday) after pleading guilty to a safety breach at an earlier hearing, had failed to properly plan, manage and supervise the work at the station in Kentish Town Road, Kentish Town. Evidence showed procedures were available which may have prevented this incident but were not implemented and followed. Inspectors also found the tower scaffold was incorrectly assembled and its stability had not been assessed.

Keith Atkinson, HM Principal Inspector of Railways said: “In 2014, London Underground’s failure to properly plan, manage or supervise maintenance work at the disused station in South Kentish Town, led to a worker spending ten days in hospital, and could have been fatal. London Underground has a good safety record, but this incident highlights why there can be no room for complacency.”

He added: “Safety remains a top priority for the rail regulator. We will always take action against companies or individuals where failings are found.”

A Transport for London statement said: “This was clearly a serious incident involving one of our employees and we acted quickly to investigate the causes and take action to ensure that it does not happen again.”

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