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Safety Briefing No.74

    1. Near miss with two track workers near Kettering 08/10/2021

    At 09:58 on 6th October 2021 the driver of a passenger train saw two track workers in the fourfoot ahead of their train. The driver sounded the train horn, applied the emergency brake and reported the near miss. He had to be relieved from driving at Kettering station. A Mobile Operations Manager (MOM) attended the site and arranged drugs and alcohol testing. The track workers had been checking lengths of rail that had been dropped in the location ahead of renewal works, remained in a safe position not affecting running rails. Their safe system of work was 'separated by distance', allowing them to visually check rails from the Down cess. However, overhead line stanchions and an overbridge affected being able to stay the required distance from running lines. Front facing train video footage indicates that the two track workers had been in the four-foot and reached a position of safety barely five seconds before the train passed. To exit the railway, the two workers crossed four open lines.

    2. On track plant collision 03/09/2021

    On the 2nd May 2021 at 07:00, the Machine Operator of a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) suffered life changing injuries when the basket of the MEWP in which they were travelling was struck by the jib of a 360º Crane RRV which had been travelling behind it. The collision occurred whilst both vehicles were travelling to their off-tracking location on the same line within an engineering worksite. The MEWP Machine Operator was trapped and had to be freed by the emergency services. The MEWP Machine Controller sustained minor bruising. Both the Machine Operator and Machine Controller who were travelling in the cab of the 360º Crane RRV were uninjured.

    3. Capacitor failure at Waverley signalling centre (19/08/21)

    Edinburgh Waverley Signalling Centre recently suffered an incident where a capacitor in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) failed. The capacitor emitted smoke into the plant room, which spread to the Operations floor. The fire alarm was activated. The incident led to the building being evacuated, with attendance by the fire brigade. There was severe disruption on the network, resulting in significant train delays. Investigation has identified this UPS unit had been mistakenly removed from the annual maintenance inspection by the manufacturer (Vertiv) in 2017 and was not in Ellipse (it had previously been recorded in Ellipse). The capacitor had not been renewed since it was installed around 2001. The unit was a Vertiv Chloride EDP90, 80KVA unit.

    4. Dangerous Occurrence: Fall from scaffolding resulting in significant risk of drowning 30/09/2021

    On Friday 24th September, a scaffolding contractor was tasked with dismantling the tube and fitting scaffold between the south pier and the riverbank on a structure over water in Glasgow. At approximately 09:15 one of the scaffolders was standing on a dropper tube when it slipped loose from its couplers, causing him to fall from the scaffold into the river along with the tube. His harness and lanyard were clipped on the same dropper tube. There was a rescue boat on standby and it immediately mobilised, quickly rescuing the scaffolder from the water. The scaffolder was then taken to hospital by the emergency services. He was discharged around 14:00 on the same day. Work on the structure has been suspended and an investigation is underway.