C1/2007R Accident during shunting work at the Joensuu railway yard, Finland, on 2 February 2007

An accident claiming the life of a shunting unit foreman occurred at the Joensuu railway yard on Friday 2 February 2007 at 9.01 a.m. The foreman, employed by VR Cargo Joensuu, perished instantly after being run over by one of the wheels of a freight car.

The aim was to shunt a domestic container wagon equipped with a screw switch pulling device using a Russian wagon equipped with an automatic coupling. Apparently, the shunting unit foreman intervened to move the slowly moving Russian wagon's automatic coupling towards the coupling hook of the container wagon. He fell on his stomach onto the tracks, where he was run over by the wheel of the wagon coming from behind. The direct cause of the foreman's fall was not revealed by the investigations, but is likely to have been the result of slipping or being nudged by the shunting wagon.

In order to prevent similar accidents from occurring again, the Accident Investigation Board of Finland recommends that the instructions for safe working in a railway yard be supplemented to forbid employees from placing themselves between moving wagons in all situations, and improving the grip of footwear used in yard work. The Accident Investigation Board further recommends that the Emergency centre use an emergency response that corresponds to the type of accident. In urgent cases, it would be important to have a sufficient number of appropriate units attend the scene of the accident quickly. The Accident Investigation Board also repeats its recommendation issued in its investigation report B1/2005R on making the emergency call directly from the scene of the accident.

C1/2007R Report (pdf, 1.2 Mt)

•Recommendation S231

•Recommendation S232

•Recommendation S233

•Recommendation S211

Published 2.2.2007