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Train repair firm fined over electric shock

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National Express subsidiary, Maintrain, has been fined £75,000 after a maintenance worker suffered a severe electric shock while working on a train that had not been isolated.
Christopher Harris was removing a cover protecting train axles at the Soho Light Maintenance Depot in Birmingham. He suffered burns to the hands, chest muscle damage and injuries to his legs.

An investigation, led by the Office of Rail Regulation's inspectorate, found Maintrain's risk assessment inadequate and showed the company had failed to implement safe systems of work. Workers were not adequately trained in the procedures for working on electrical systems, and were not properly supervised.

"It should be noted, had all axle covers been removed from the train, the full voltage of 25,000 volts would have passed through the worker," the principal railway inspector Darren Anderson told Birmingham Crown Court.  Maintrain admitted failing to ensure, so far as is reasonable practicable, the safety of employees and others, contrary to Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined on 12 January 2009.

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