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Author Topic: Simon Brown, rail enthusiast, died on Gatwick Express train, 7 Aug 2016  (Read 16029 times)
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #60 on: July 17, 2019, 06:55:03 am »

I am very disappointed that the TOC are not fighting this; it seems that no modicum of common sense and/or personal responsibility is now required when going about our daily activities. 


Hear Hear. Absolutely nails it 👍
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TonyK
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« Reply #61 on: July 17, 2019, 09:23:11 am »


Hear Hear. Absolutely nails it 👍

That's what they should do to the windows.

There is a duty of care to the fool as well as to the wise man. Trains can be used by people whose mental capacity is such that they cannot properly understand a common sign, as well as people who should know the risks but still take them, and TOCs have a duty of care to them also. One of the recommendations made by the RAIB after a similar incident was:

Quote
The intent of this recommendation is to reduce the risk of injury at open
train windows.
Operators of trains which include rolling stock with droplight windows should assess the risk arising from reduced clearance outside those
windows and implement any reasonably practicable measures to mitigate it. The review should be informed by obtaining from Network
Rail the data referred to in recommendation 1, and include consideration of means of preventing people from leaning out of windows and/or
improving warning signage. These measures should address the risks to both passengers and staff.
(RAIB report 09/2017 para 116(2))

The report included a photograph of a class 442 droplight window with bars fitted over the droplight window, suggesting that at least one TOC had identified a fairly simple and cheap solution before the accident that was the subject of that report. That to me looks like an example of "any reasonably practicable measures to mitigate" as described in the recommendation.

If I were the defendant's solicitor in this instance, I would ask what the TOC had done to implement the RAIB recommendation - which did, in fairness, give "and / or improving signage" as an option. If the answer was either "Launched an in-depth study, with a focus group and task group of our own experts to examine ways to implement this over a reasonable period" or "Nothing", which is the short way of saying the same thing, I would advise them to put their hands up, and throw themselves upon the mercy of the court.

[/speculation]
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« Reply #62 on: July 17, 2019, 12:52:38 pm »

From The Standard

Quote
One of London’s biggest train firms is facing a hefty fine over the death of a passenger who suffered catastrophic injuries when he put his head out of an unlocked carriage window.

Railway enthusiast Simon Brown, 24, was struck on the head by a signal gantry when he leaned out of the Gatwick Express train as it approached Wandsworth Common station.

An inquest into his death found Mr Brown had put his head out of a publicly accessible “droplight” window.

Rail investigators said there was a sticker on the door warning passengers against leaning out, but it was “cluttered” with other signs.

At Southwark crown court yesterday, Govia Thameslink Railway — which runs the service — pleaded guilty to a health and safety breach over Mr Brown’s death on August 7, 2016. Patrick Verwer, who was appointed chief executive last year, sat in court as the company admitted the breach.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-49016151

£1 million fine, can only assume GWR will be looking at something similar in the future for incident between Bristol and Bath last year
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grahame
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« Reply #63 on: July 17, 2019, 01:59:59 pm »

£1 million fine, can only assume GWR will be looking at something similar in the future for incident between Bristol and Bath last year

For sure, all parties to that fatality between Bath and Bristol will be taking a look at the case and seeing what parallels there are. But it would be dangerous to make assumptions about similarities, let alone about them leading to a similar outcome.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #64 on: July 17, 2019, 02:42:30 pm »

For instance, the positioning of warning labels over HST windows was a lot clearer than on Gatwick Expres, for example
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TonyK
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« Reply #65 on: July 17, 2019, 05:43:52 pm »

£1 million fine, can only assume GWR will be looking at something similar in the future for incident between Bristol and Bath last year

For sure, all parties to that fatality between Bath and Bristol will be taking a look at the case and seeing what parallels there are. But it would be dangerous to make assumptions about similarities, let alone about them leading to a similar outcome.

A difference is that GWR were operating trains that had to be opened from outside, with a delay to the introduction of the replacements being outside of their control, and so far as I can recall, the instruction to not lean out of the window was very clearly displayed in HSTs. The Govia case does certainly have possible ramifications for any TOC who operates trains with openable windows, though. Time alone will tell. The idea of having windows that anyone can open on any vehicle capable of travelling at 60mph, let alone 125mph, seems more and more antiquated as time goes by. The HSTs had to have electrically operated door locks fitted from 1993, following a number of falls from moving trains - it seems ridiculous to think of trains without locking doors of one sort or another these days.

The railway is by no means the only place where improvements in safety follow on from accident investigations or coroners' inquests, but it has long been at the forefront of advances, both in technology and in law.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 08:54:54 pm by TonyK » Logged

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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #66 on: July 17, 2019, 06:37:57 pm »

£1 million fine, can only assume GWR will be looking at something similar in the future for incident between Bristol and Bath last year

For sure, all parties to that fatality between Bath and Bristol will be taking a look at the case and seeing what parallels there are. But it would be dangerous to make assumptions about similarities, let alone about them leading to a similar outcome.

A big difference is that GWR were operating trains that had to be opened from outside, with a delay to the introduction of the replacements being outside of their control. Time alone will tell. The idea of having windows that anyone can open on any vehicle capable of travelling at 60mph, let alone 125mph, seems more and more antiquated as time goes by. The HSTs had to have electrically operated door locks fitted from 1993, following a number of falls from moving trains - it seems ridiculous to think of trains without locking doors of one sort or another these days.

The railway is by no means the only place where improvements in safety follow on from accident investigations or coroners' inquests, but it has long been at the forefront of advances, both in technology and in law.

I appreciate that it's an unfashionable concept these days, but does anyone actually take responsibility for their own actions any more? (Actions, after all, always have consequences, especially when reckless).
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TonyK
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« Reply #67 on: July 17, 2019, 08:45:29 pm »

I appreciate that it's an unfashionable concept these days, but does anyone actually take responsibility for their own actions any more? (Actions, after all, always have consequences, especially when reckless).

Short answer is yes. Long answer, yes, and they have to take responsibility for their failure to act as well, which can also have consequences. The railway owes a duty of care to the traveller in civil law, but in any claim for damages, the court may decide that the claimant contributed to the outcome by dint of their own negligence, and reduce damages by the percentage deemed to be their fault. This current case, however, is a criminal matter, brought against the company because of a breach of the oft-derided health and safety law. Judge Jeffrey Pegden, who heard the case noted, according to Metro, that the droplight window was for the use of conductors, but that:

Quote
...the train had no conductor and there was no one there to monitor the use of the window at the time of the incident and that safety signs were ‘confusing’. He told Southwark Crown Court: ‘So there was no one on the incident train from the defendant company to use or maintain the use of the droplight window in question. Simon Brown appears to have put his head through the droplight window of the train where it was struck by track side gantry. Tragically he died as a result of the injuries he sustained and all that could be done was done to save him.’

The article went on to say:

Quote
Judge Pegden said no risk assessment was carried out that might have identified the droplight window risk and called it ‘tragic corporate blindspot’. Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd admitted one count of failing to ensure that persons not in their employment were not exposed to risk to their health and safety. Earlier James Maxwell-Scott, representing Govia Thameslink, said the firm took the charge very seriously, and that is why they pleaded guilty to it at the earliest opportunity. The court heard that following Mr Brown’s death, GTR took steps to ‘minimise risk’ by putting hazard tape across on the droplight windows of its 14 Class 442 trains.

It's an old story. Something that has come about by change, possibly gradually, has been overlooked. Govia could have been had up for this without an accident sparking the investigation had someone from a health and safety authority seen the window in question earlier. The was a risk there all the time that the window wasn't protected in one way or another. As to who is at fault, clearly nobody should lean out of a moving train, and a railway enthusiast who was seemingly a volunteer on a preserved railway should have known this more than most. But as has been noted above, if a window opens, someone will lean out of it, no matter how little sense it makes, and TOCs are fully aware of this. The TOC has not been accused of corporate manslaughter, which would surely have been the case had it been found that the accident was solely down to their actions or omissions. They have been convicted on the basis that they facilitated the incident, however unintentionally.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 08:53:26 pm by TonyK » Logged

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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2019, 07:28:12 am »

A good explanation.

I guess it's just a shame we can't legislate effectively against stupidity!
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #69 on: July 18, 2019, 09:30:32 am »

Taking responsibility applies to all. Those who lean out of windows or open doors on moving vehicles need to take responsibility for their actions. Those who make it possible for idiots, the uninformed, small children, etc to do so, also need to take responsibility for their act of making it possible.
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TonyK
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« Reply #70 on: July 18, 2019, 09:34:47 am »

Taking responsibility applies to all. Those who lean out of windows or open doors on moving vehicles need to take responsibility for their actions. Those who make it possible for idiots, the uninformed, small children, etc to do so, also need to take responsibility for their act of making it possible.

Which is almost certainly why Govia pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
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« Reply #71 on: July 18, 2019, 10:29:38 pm »

Am I correct in thinking that these former Gatwick Express trains have just re-entered service with SWR? I think they transferred from SWT to Gatwick Express some years ago.

Anyway there was a delay in the re-introduction. I heard there were problems with the doors that needed rectifying. Have SWR done something to stop people poking their heads out of the windows?
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2019, 06:04:26 am »

Taking responsibility applies to all. Those who lean out of windows or open doors on moving vehicles need to take responsibility for their actions. Those who make it possible for idiots, the uninformed, small children, etc to do so, also need to take responsibility for their act of making it possible.

…..some of these may keep the lawyers busy too!

https://darwinawards.com/
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #73 on: August 04, 2019, 07:05:28 pm »

Travelled on the Paignton and Dartmouth Railway yesterday (03/08/2019) and the following brand new notices have been applied above every carriage window:

« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 07:52:25 pm by SandTEngineer » Logged

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« Reply #74 on: August 04, 2019, 08:09:31 pm »

Interestingly the one thing it doesn’t say is “Check your part of the train is adjacent to the platform”. 

How far do you need to go to cover for all eventualities?
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