Orientation - Are We in the Right Place?

There have been many instances where staff have placed protection on the wrong track, erected earths on live equipment, placed marker boards in the wrong location and when interviewed they all thought that they were in the right location at the time of the incident.

It is not uncommon when we access the track at the wrong side, especially during the hours of darkness.

Before going lineside:

  • Confirm the location against your pack (isolation walkout).
  • Check the location board at the access point (where available).
  • Have a discussion with the team, are we at the right place?
  • Check the track layout against the pack, if available use the sectional appendix.

  • When you are lineside, but not on track and in a position of safety you can:
  • Check mileage posts.
  • Check OLE structure numbers.
  • Check which side of the structure the structure number is showing.
  • Check signal numbers.
  • Check bridge numbers.
  • Does all this reflect what is in the pack?
  • Discuss with the group – are we in the right place?

  • Do
  • confirm you are in the right place
  • use all the information available to confirm you are where you should be
  • ask the group to confirm the location by using the information available to you
  • if you have any doubt STOP, Take 5, review the information, when sure that it is safe, then proceed


  • access the railway until you have confirmed that you are in the right location and at the correct access point
  • start work until you have confirmed that your location is correct by using all means possible
  • allow work to start until all staff have been briefed and given a chance to ask questions or challenge the safe system of work

    Ask Yourself

    You can use these to check understanding.

  • How can we confirm that we are at the right location?
  • What can we use to confirm that we are in the right place?
  • What should you do if you find yourself at a wrong location?

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