A COMPANY has been fined £1.4 million after a worker was crushed during routine maintenance of traction motors from Heathrow Express trains.

Ian Parker, 58, was killed when a 650kg motor fell on him at Siemens Train Care Facility, in White City, west London.

At an earlier hearing, Siemens Plc pleaded guilty to one charge of contravening a health and safety regulation and was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Tuesday (February 7).

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The court heard Mr Parker had been a self-employed contractor working as part of a heavy overhaul team at the depot.

The team had been tasked with removing several traction motors for routine refurbishment from electrically powered trains which operate on the Heathrow Express.

The traction motors were to be lifted by a crane, the court was told.

The motor was connected to a bogie frame by four mounting bolts, which were held in position by mounting sleeves.

There were also two safety plates below the motor to prevent it falling if the mounting bolts failed.

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The mounting bolts, the mounting sleeves and safety plates should not have been removed until after the crane had taken the weight of the motor.

However, the court was told that unfortunately Mr Parker removed them before the motor had been properly supported by a crane.

Judge Anuja Dhir KC said: “It is not known when Mr Parker removed the bolts, but it is agreed that it is highly likely that they were removed immediately before the accident. Mr Parker was in an inspection pit underneath the motor when it fell.”

Mr Parker leaves two sons, three grandchildren and daughter-in-law Heather Parker, who issued a statement on behalf of the family.

Mrs Parker told of the ‘traumatic and devastating’ impact.

She said: “Our father was literally crushed to death. We couldn’t even say our goodbyes to him. The funeral directors advised us not to see him as he was so disfigured. It was two months before we were allowed to have the funeral.”

Judge Dhir noted the company had two previous convictions relating to incidents in 2009 and 2014, one of which resulted in the death of an employee and the other in a broken ankle.

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However, she said both incidents happened in the defendant’s wind power division and there had been no previous convictions relating to its rail operation.

Judge Dhir fined the firm £1,400,000 and ordered costs of £99,284.84 to be paid to the Office of Road and Rail.