Investigation launched into MEWP collision in Rochford

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The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has launched an investigation into the collision of two mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) on a rail maintenance job in Essex

The two mobile elevating work platforms collided on 25 January on a rail maintenance job in Rochford, Essex.

At around 10:57 on Saturday 25 January 2020, a MEWP travelling at around 9.2 mph collided with a similar, but stationary, machine, on the railway between Rochford and Southend Airport stations.

The machine had travelled over 150 metres at around 10 mph prior to the collision. At the time, the railway was closed to normal traffic and the two machines were part of the equipment that was being used to renew the overhead electrical power lines.

There were two people in the stationary mobile elevating work platform, working on the overhead line equipment, and they were thrown against the railings of the machine’s basket. They both suffered severe bruising and back injuries which prevented them from working for some time.

The single person in the moving MEWP was unhurt. However, both machines were slightly damaged.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch investigation will consider:

  • The arrangements for managing the movement of the MEWPs, including the planning and organisation of the work that was taking place
  • The management of the competence of machine operators and controllers
  • The braking performance of the MEWP
  • Any underlying factors.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch will publish its findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation – it is not yet known when this will be.

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