Three rail companies which were responsible for an incident more than four years ago when a Midland worker suffered horrific injuries have been fined £200,000 each.
Richard McBride was one of three men working on an overhead electric line at Marston Green during modernisation work to the West Coast Main Line route in July 2003.
He narrowly avoided death but suffered terrible injuries and his lower leg had to be amputated after he received a massive 25,000 volt shock from a still-live cable.
Rugby-based Elec-Track Installations Ltd, which employed the three men, pleaded guilty through its barrister Stephen Killalea QC to failing to discharge its duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The charge detailed that the firm, now called Hythe Realisations, failed to ensure the safety of its employees while they were working on overhead rail lines.
Balfour-Beatty and GT Rail Maintenance, which had formed a joint venture to carry out the work, entered guilty pleas to failing to ensure that persons not employed by them were not exposed to risk.
The three companies were fined by Judge Christopher Hodson, sitting at Coventry Crown Court.
In addition Balfour Beatty and GT Rail Maintenance were both ordered to pay £21,000 costs after they had been subject to an earlier ‘trial of issue’ at Warwick Crown Court over where the main blame should lie in the case.
Richard Matthews, prosecuting for HM Inspector of Railways, said that during work to upgrade the overhead line equipment on the West Coast route a team of workers began work on the lines at Marston Green before the power was isolated.
The standard practice when undertaking such work was that a ‘permit to work’ was issued which certified the power isolation had taken place, and where.
"But there was a deviation from this system, involving workers setting out to the site of work and waiting for a telephone call to inform them of the isolation," said Mr Matthews.