Banning orders issued after rail route accident

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Bosses at Network Rail have said last week’s shutdown of work on the Borders Railway after a serious accident won’t delay the opening of the route.

Construction work – including the laying of tracks – was halted after a worker lost part of his leg when he was struck by a concrete sleeper which fell from a crane’s sling.

The unnamed man, who is in his late 40s, also suffered serious internal injuries.

The rail line, which closed in 1969, is being restored in a £294million project from Edinburgh to Tweedbank and tracks from the north have now reached as far south as Stow.

The accident happened on Tuesday of last week in the Wilderhaugh area of Galashiels.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is leading the investigation into what happened and issued two prohibition notices on the use of two pieces of equipment.

Inspectors staged a reconstruction of the accident the day after it happened and workers were given fresh health and safety briefings.

But they were told that work would not be restarting and The Southern understands that additional safety measures were introduced.

Network Rail told us the shutdown would not affect the overall project timescales and they still expected work to be completed next summer, with trains running in September.

A spokesman for Network Rail said they were working closely with contractor BAM to support the injured man and his family.

He added: “The incident is currently under investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment on the circumstances of the accident at this time.

“The project team took the voluntary decision to stand the site down for the remainder of the week to allow a full investigation and review. However, our teams returned to work on Monday.”

The HSE said prohibition notices were issued when there was the possibility of danger and added that they could be appealed.

There have been a number of accidents related to the construction of the 32-mile line which have been investigated.