London Underground faces prosecution

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The Independent Online

The London Underground faces prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive for permitting dangerous work practices during maintenance work on the Central Line.

The London Underground faces prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive for permitting dangerous work practices during maintenance work on the Central Line.

The HSE has stated that an investigation was started following reports that workers were exposed to moving trains and risk of electrocution while working on the line.

The case follows disclosures of HSE's concerns about safety on the Underground in the run-up to the part-privatisation of the system.

The HSE said today that on November 30 last year, an inspector paid an unannounced visit to Loughton station in Essex and discovered men working on the track with live rails.

He issued a prohibition notice which stopped the work and started a wider investigation which resulted in the prosecution, said the HSE.

LU Ltd will face a charge under section three of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to protect agency workers and a second charge of breaching a prohibition notice by allowing work on January 18, 2000 at Loughton sidings, while the rails were live.

Former signals operations manager David Alexander Elkington will face a charge under section seven of the Act for failing to take reasonable care for the safety of himself and others who were working under his direction.

The case is due to be heard at Marylebone Magistrates Court in north London on September 4.

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