Building company Carillion Construction fined £200,000 for safety failings after rail worker struck by train

Lincoln Crown Court G120131-3
Lincoln Crown Court G120131-3

A construction company which “missed opportunities” to prevent a rail worker from acting in a safety role before he was killed by a passing train near Gainsborough has been fined £200,000.

Scott Dobson, 26, was leading a team of track side maintenance workers when he was struck by a train travelling between Gainsborough and Lincoln on December 4 2012.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Mr Dobson had strayed in to the six foot gap between the two lines while the work was being carried out near Saxilby. Mr Dobson should not have been acting as the controller of site safety as issues had been raised about two other incidents involving him in the two months before his death.

It had been recommended that Mr Dobson, who was self-employed, should not work in the safety critical role until investigations in to those two incidents had been completed.

Carillion Construction Ltd, which employed Mr Dobson on the job, admitted a single charge of failing to discharge a duty under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

Jonathan Ashley-Norman, prosecuting, told the court failings at Carillion were not the direct cause of Mr Dobson’s death but created the circumstances.

Mr Ashley-Norman said: “Scott Dobson met his death whilst working on the railway. He was a controller of site safety, as its name suggests a safety critical role.

“He was leading a small team of track side operatives who were carrying out maintenance work on the track. Whilst looking out for their safety he neglected his own.

“Carillion accepts there were missed opportunities to prevent him working in a safety critical role.”

Gordon Menzies, mitigating for Carillion, offered an “unreserved apology” to Mr Dobson’s family and said the company had learned lessons from the incident.

Mr Menzies told the court Carillion had introduced measures to tighten procedures and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Passing sentence, Judge Simon Hirst said after reading a victim impact statement from Mr Dobson’s mother it was plain that he was he much loved and much missed.

“No words that I or any of the parties in this case will ever compensate the family of Scott Dobson for what happened on 4 December 2012.”