Edinburgh Trams fined £240,000 over death of man hit by tram on crossing
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Edinburgh Trams has been fined £240,000 after a man died after being hit by a tram on a crossing.
The operator admitted health and safety failings relating to the incident in 2018 in which Carlos Correa was killed at Saughton in the west of the city.
The fine ruled on at a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday was reduced from £360,000 because of the early guilty plea, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service said.
Mr Correa, a 53-year-old bus driver, was on his way home from work at lunchtime on September 11, 2018. He did not notice the tram until it was too late.
The tram driver had sounded his bell four times and braked, then applied the emergency brake some 18m from the crossing, which caused the warning horn to sound.
The advocate depute, prosecuting, told the court there had been no assessment of the foreseeable risk to pedestrians at the Saughton Mains crossing from an approaching tram prior to this incident.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said the criminal investigation found Edinburgh Trams had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the layout of the crossing, and to ensure it provided sufficient notice and warning to pedestrians of the crossing.
It had failed to assess the loudness of audible warning devices on trams, or the emergency braking distances of trams approaching the crossing to identify and implement adequate control measures to address these hazards.
The COPFS said the absence of any written risk assessment was made worse by the failure to make regular reviews, which meant the original error went unnoticed. It said a near miss at the same crossing two years earlier was reported, but failed to result in any action.
Debbie Carroll, who leads on health and safety investigations for the COPFS, said: “Carlos Correa lost his life in circumstances which could have been avoided had the risks been recognised and appropriate control measures put in place.
“Edinburgh Trams Limited’s failure to assess the risks posed to pedestrians using the crossing resulted in Mr Correa’s death. Our thoughts are with Mr Correa’s family at this difficult time."
A spokesperson for Edinburgh Trams said: “We want to express again our deepest sympathies to the family of Mr Correa.”
A statement from Mr Correa’s family, released by Digby Brown Solicitors, said: “The loss of Carlos has been agonising and our pain has only been worsened by the nearly five years we had to wait for justice, which we find excessive and unacceptable.
“We welcome the fact that Edinburgh Trams has accepted responsibility, but the conviction does not bring us any closure – it only ends the criminal process which has been traumatic in its own right.
“It should not have taken this long to prosecute because as far as we can see all the information needed to secure a conviction has been in place for years already.
“So we call on COPFS and Scottish Government to investigate and reform in the hope of ending avoidable delays so victims and bereaved families are not made to suffer needlessly.”
The law firm said it had also helped the family secure a six-figure sum of damages in a separate civil action.