1. Operational close call: line blockage error
2. Fatal accident – fall from height

1. Operational close call: line blockage error


On 27 March whilst carrying out a routine track inspection at the River Mole Four Arch underbridge a patrolling team of four were crossing a limited clearance structure believed to be under a line blockage when a passenger train unexpectedly approached their position on the Down line.

The advanced lookout was ahead of the team, saw the train approaching, warned the other members and all reached a position of safety in time for the train to pass their position without further incident.

The COSS had requested and been granted a line blockage in a different location, on the same line but two miles away, this being protection planned to be taken later in the patrol.

This was a moving worksite, a number of consecutive line blockages had been planned to provide protection for the team while crossing restricted clearance structures. Local names of the structures are similar: River Mole Four Arch and River Mole Bridge.

The direction of the track patrol had been reversed at short notice, as had the order in which line blockages were to be taken. This information was passed to the Person in Charge and COSS early in the shift. The COSS had just completed his probationary period.

The PIC & COSS had received a number of separate Safe Work Packs (SWP) for the task of a single track patrol.

2. Fatal accident – fall from height


At around 09:30 on 5 June 2018 a 20 year old member of a telecoms installation team working for a principal contractor died in a fall from height. The accident occurred at Bearsden Station, Glasgow during work to renew the public address system.

The colleague was fatally injured when he fell from a step ladder during a cable pulling operation. The cable drum had been deployed using a piece of metal conduit, which was left in the centre of the drum when the drum was on its side. The colleague struck the conduit and died from his injuries.