A RAILWAY engineering contractor has been fined £12,000 after a worker suffered serious arm injuries when he became entangled with a drill in the Borders.

Lanarkshire-based QTS Group Ltd admitted two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work 1974 following the accident on the East Coast rail line in Berwickshire almost four years ago.

The firm told Jedburgh Sheriff Court that it deeply regretted the accident after having a previously unblemished safety record.

Ben Christie, who was 22 at the time, was working as a level two rope technician sub-contractor when the accident happened on October 13, 2017.

At the time, Mr Christie was employed by All Trades Rope Access working for QTS Group Ltd when he was injured while assisting in the use of a drilling rig to insert soil nails into a railway embankment at a site near Lamberton in Berwickshire, just yards from the English border.

The drilling rig unexpectedly re-started when Mr Christie was manually screwing a section of metal rebar onto the end of another section already in the drill head.

He became entangled, sustaining severe injuries to his left arm.

A colleague drove him to hospital in Berwick and he was then transferred by ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to be treated for breaks to his arm and wrist.

His arm was placed in a cast and he was referred to Glasgow Royal Infirmary the next day as it was closer to his home.

He was admitted for 12 nights and underwent five operations with the insertion of two metal plates and a skin craft.

Specialist health and safety prosecutor Jemima Eadie said Mr Christie, who worked for the group for three years after the accident but has since left to take up new employment, still talks about the residual effects of the pain.

QTS Group Ltd, which employs 500 people, was charged under summary procedure which carried a maximum fine of £20,000.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said there was more than one failure by the firm in safety procedures leading up to the accident.

He fined QTS £6,000 on each charge.