London

South Kentish Town Station: LU fined £500k after worker fall

South Kentish Town Tube station Image copyright Google
Image caption The disused station closed in 1924 and the front has been converted into a shop

London Underground (LU) has been fined £500,000 after a maintenance worker was injured at a fall at a disused station.

The worker plunged 9.5m from a scaffold tower while cleaning a former lift shaft at South Kentish Town station, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said.

Its investigation found the transport authority failed to properly plan, manage and supervise the work that was being carried out in September 2014.

LU said it acted quickly to investigate the cause and take action.

The ORR report comes after LU pleaded guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act at Blackfriars Crown Court on 7 October this year.

At a hearing on Friday, it was ordered to pay the £500,000 plus £50,000 in costs.

'Good safety record'

The maintenance worker suffered numerous injuries and spent 10 days in hospital following the fall.

ORR inspectors found the scaffold was incorrectly assembled and its stability had not been assessed.

Procedures which may have prevented the fall were in place, but were not implemented or followed, it said.

Keith Atkinson, HM Principal Inspector of Railways, said: "London Underground has a good safety record, but this incident highlights why there can be no room for complacency.

"Safety remains a top priority for the rail regulator. We will always take action against companies or individuals where failings are found."

London Underground fully addressed issues relating to safe access into the former lift shaft and the incorrectly assembled scaffold following the incident.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman 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."

The station was opened in 1907 but closed in 1924 as not many people used it.

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