News story

Collision between mobile elevating work platforms at Rochford

Investigation into collision between mobile elevating work platforms at Rochford, Essex, 25 January 2020.

Photograph of the MEWP involved in the collision

MEWP involved in the collision

At around 10:57 hrs on Saturday 25 January 2020, a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) travelling at about 9.2 mph (14.8 km/h) 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 (16 km/h) immediately before 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 MEWP, 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. Both machines were slightly damaged.

Our investigation will identify the sequence of events which led to the accident. It will also 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.

Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.

We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.

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Published 14 February 2020