Rail bosses face trial for death of maintenance worker from Harold Wood

�Network Rail is to go on trial over an incident in which a worker from Harold Wood died and two others were injured.

Chelmsford magistrates ruled that the case over the incident which happened at Margaretting in June 2008 should go to the city’s crown court.

A plea and case management hearing has been set for November 26.

Three men were in a metal basket which fell 15ft onto the track from the hydraulic arm of a vehicle.


Malcolm Slater, 64, suffered spinal injuries and died 20 days later on July 1 in Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

The men were working on the cable after a train from Liverpool Street brought the power line down.

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The prosecution is being brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The rail firm is accused of failing to comply with the requirements of the Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, between July 2006 and June 2008, by failing to ensure that work equipment provided for employees, namely Unimog 400 series Mobile Elevated Work Platforms, was suitable for the lifting and support of staff, tools and other items that they used to repair overhead line equipment.

It is also said to have failed to ensure that all those who used the same work equipment, and/or those of its employees who were to supervise or manage the use of the equipment, had available readily comprehensible and adequate health and safety information.

Lastly, it is accused of failing to ensure that all persons who used the equipment and those who were to supervise or manage the use of it, “had received adequate training for the purposes of health and safety including training in the methods to be adopted using the said work equipment, and risks which such use entailed and any precautions to be taken.”

Mr Slater’s colleagues – Phil Miles and Daniel Wild – were later said to be office bound due to their injuries.

An inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death regarding Mr Slater.