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Sat June 19 2021

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MEWP collision investigated

14 Feb 20 The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has revealed that it is investigating the collision of two mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).

The MEWPs that collided (Image: RAIB/crown copyright)
The MEWPs that collided (Image: RAIB/crown copyright)

Shortly before 11am on Saturday 25th January 2020, a road-rail MEWP being driven along the tracks in Essex crashed into a similar, stationary machine.

The moving MEWP was travelling on the railway between Rochford and Southend Airport stations. It had travelled more than 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 overhead line equipment, and they were thrown against the railings of the machine’s basket. They both suffered severe bruising and back injuries, preventing them from working for some time. The single person in the moving MEWP was unhurt. Both machines were slightly damaged.

The Department for Transport’s Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is investigating the sequence of events that led to the accident. It is looking into the arrangements for managing the movement of the MEWPs, the management of the competence of machine operators and controllers, and whether there was an issue with the brakes of the machine that failed to stop.

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