KiwiRail accepts court decision in Raurimu case

17 September 2015 2:02PM

KiwiRail accepts the judgment of the Auckland District Court today in regard to the accident in which Downer employee Paul Anderson was seriously injured when a digger he was operating was struck by a train.

The collision occurred at a worksite at Raurimu, near National Park on 17 June last year, and KiwiRail subsequently pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

“KiwiRail completed a thorough investigation of what happened and found that we had not taken all practical steps to ensure that everyone working at the site was off the track before a train came through. As a result, this terrible accident occurred,” KiwiRail Group General Manager Todd Moyle says.  

The investigation involved KiwiRail staff, Downer, and other industry partners and focused on reviewing safety procedures at worksites across the rail network.

“We recognised that we needed to do more to protect our teams when they are working on the network and make sure that no trains enter worksites unless all workers and all equipment is off the track,” says Mr Moyle.

“As a result of these changes, all worksites across the country now have a register to record all personnel and vehicles operating near the tracks.

“We have also introduced a ‘lock-on lock-off’ procedure so that before going on to the track everyone at a site, whether  working or visiting, is issued with a padlock which has to be attached to a board held by  the Site Protector.  When the person comes off the track, they remove their padlock.  A train will be allowed to pass through the site only when all padlocks are removed and the Site Protector has confirmed that everyone is clear of the track.”

Mr Moyle said the Court had ordered reparations of $110,000 that KiwiRail would pay to Paul Anderson’s family.

“They live every day with the consequences of this accident and while we make the reparations willingly, we understand that no amount of money can change what happened.  We have offered our sincere apologies.

“The safety of everyone who works for us, and who travels with us is our primary concern, and we will continue to work to prevent an accident like this from happening again,” says Mr Moyle.


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