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24Feb94 UK: BR FINED FOR ENDANGERING THE LIFE OF DIGGER DRIVER.

British Rail was fined £20,000 last week for endangering a worker whose mechanical digger hit an underground 750V cable supplying power to Britain's busiest railway line.Digger driver Andrew Hall escaped injury on September 12 last year near Kenton station in north west London.BR pleaded guilty at Brent Magistrates Court to putting the safety of Mr Hall in jeopardy.Mr Hall was excavating a new drainage system between the up and down tracks of the West Coast Main Line when he struck the cable. He was working for Ash Plant, of Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.Health and Safety Executive inspector officer Stuart Rackley told the court: 'There was no reference on any drawing that related to underground power cables, and on site no thought was given to underground cables despite the very large presence of a feeder station.'Counsel for BR James Palmer said: 'The board accepts it is quite proper to plead guilty as there was an oversight.' But he told the court that tougher safety measures were being introduced at the time of the incident. CONSTRUCTION NEWS