SAFETY BRIEF NO.61

01/11/2018

1. Unauthorised staff providing advice to level crossing users
2. Securing materials for the passage of trains
3. Serious staff injury following collision in a worksite

1. Unauthorised staff providing advice to level crossing users

It has been reported that on Tuesday 24 July 2018 at approximately 10:32, a member of staff (a contract lookout) gave a user permission to cross a user worked crossing equipped with a telephone (UWCT) in a vehicle.

Signs are in place to inform users of the correct process for using the crossing. It is believed that the lookout was trying to be helpful, but had clearly not considered that there is a specific safe use procedure at this crossing, as at many others.

At this particular crossing the signaller must protect every vehicle crossing by placing the signals at danger. The crossing does not have sufficient sighting for vehicles to use it during normal operations. A similar near miss happened during construction work last year at another level crossing when a user wrongly understood from site staff that it was safe to cross.

 

2. Securing materials for the passage of trains

There have been several recent occurrences where materials or components have been displaced or struck by the passage of trains and have either caused or had the potential to cause damage.

These include an incident at Barton & Broughton in Lancashire where an AWS unit lid that had been removed for maintenance work had not been safely secured and was dislodged by a passing train, and earlier incidents involving plant and equipment stored in tunnels.

More recently, on 18 August 2018 a report was received from a driver that their train had jumped slightly when it came into contact with an obstruction and sustained minor damage near Tir-Phil station in Wales. Subsequently a pallet of loose troughing bases and lids were discovered track side. The troughing bases used, potentially by a trespasser in this incident, would most likely have been taken from the pallet. The pallet of troughing bases have now been banded and arrangements have been made to remove the material from site.

3. Serious staff injury following collision in a worksite

In the early hours of 19 September 2018, a Super Boss Ballast Regulator collided while traversing at speed, with the rear of a Kubota personnel trolley and caused the derailment of the latter. The two rearmost Network Rail employees being transported were injured. One employee suffered a shoulder injury, his colleague suffered serious injuries to both legs and had to be stabilised on site before being taken to a specialised trauma centre, where he underwent surgery. He is currently in hospital and is recovering from these injuries.

All staff working in worksites with plant movements must be briefed that: