TfL pays ASLEF rep £11.5K for safety breaches

04 September 2007

An ASLEF member who was prevented from fulfilling his health and safety role by London Underground has won thousands of pounds compensation in a resounding victory at an employment tribunal.

 

London Underground was found to have ‘wilfully and deliberately’ flouted health and safety law by refusing to allow Paul McCarthy, 47, to inspect four tube lines. The Tribunal said it could see ‘little if any attempt’ by London Underground to comply with health and safety law when it prevented Mr McCarthy from inspecting the Hammersmith and City, District, Metropolitan and Waterloo and City lines. As a health and safety representative it was his role to inspect the Tube network to check that it was a safe working environment for all staff.

 

The Tribunal, which awarded Mr McCarthy £11,500 plus costs, said it was surprising that senior management had not attended the Employment Tribunal to explain why they had decided not to comply with the law. It also found that London Underground’s defence of the claim had been ‘misconceived and unreasonable’.

 

As a current employee Mr McCarthy was unable to comment on the outcome of the case. However, his union representative, ASLEF District organiser Steve Grant said, ‘ASLEF will continue to defend all our members’ health, safety and welfare industrially - and if needs be, legally – regardless of where they work or what their operational grade.

 

‘We will be asking the Health & Safety Executive to consider prosecutions for the people responsible for these breaches and asking LU what disciplinary action they are taking against them for compromising their employees’ safety.’

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