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James Colson receives award for bravery from Network Rail

James Colson receives award for bravery from Network Rail - News - MLM

James Colson, Senior Engineer in Rail, has been awarded a medal of recognition by Network Rail for his actions in helping to save a life alongside two of his co-workers, Aiden Bevan and Rob House from B&M McHugh, whilst carrying out inspection works at Winchester Railway Station in Basingstoke.

The medallion awards were presented by David Smith, HSQE Director for Network Rail in Wessex at a private award ceremony, which took place at the Network Rail Operations Training Centre on Monday 14 October. This was a special event organised in honour of the team’s fast thinking and bravery.

This critical incident involved an individual who had fallen on the tracks and attempted to run across them but tripped and fell onto the electrified third rail, narrowly avoiding an almost certain fatal electrical shock. The three men sprung to action by stopping station users from jumping down to get the person, whilst also waving down oncoming passenger trains arriving into the station from each direction, successfully getting them to stop, and then arranging for the station operators to turn off the electricity.

Fortunately, this was not a tragic accident, but sadly these occurrences are not uncommon and can often have fatal consequences.

James Colson comments:

“I was very grateful to receive this award of recognition. It was amazing that the individual survived the incident as he was lying on top of the electrified rail. It could have been a lot worse. Often in cases like this, people can freeze and are unsure what to do. I was very impressed at the fast response from everyone involved, stepping up and taking immediate action.”

Joe Palmer, Director, Rail at MLM Group explains:

“Britain’s railways are some of the safest in the world, however fatalities due to trespass and suicide are rising. The industry is working hard in partnership with charities, experts and law enforcement agencies to reduce these figures through the implementation of risk reduction programmes. Nonetheless, it is not possible to entirely eliminate these risks and so the vigilance of railway staff and the public is of paramount importance. The quick instincts of James and the others involved, following their rigorous training procedures, resulted in a life being saved. This is something they should all be proud of.”


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