Electrification Construction Services Ltd
Unit 9, Wheelock Heath Business Court
SAFETY ADVICE NRX21-01 - WORKFORCE FATALITY
On Tuesday 9th February at 11.38 a.m. a track patroller was struck by 1L29, a Waterloo to Salisbury South Western Railway train, sustainingb fatal injuries.
The patroller was one of a team of four inspecting the switches and crossings immediately west of Surbiton station.
All of the lines were open to traffic and the system of work used unassisted lookout warnings.
The three other members of staff were acting as site lookout, distant lookout and patroller's assistant.
All of the team were experienced at undertaking this activity, familiar with the location and had worked together previously.
The inspection was a cyclical task done each week.
The line speed is 80mph. 1L29 was a throughtrain, travelling on the Down Fast line.
Part of the asset to be inspected included a crossover between the Up and Down Fast lines at the location the patroller was struck.
The accident is being investigated by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, the Office of Rail and Road and in a formal industry investigation.
While we don't yet know what led to this tragic accident, there are some immediate points for everyone undertaking, supervising and managing track patrols which inspect switches and crossings to consider:
- How do you check patrol diagrams* are clear, understood and always followed? How does everyone know what version to use?
- Does the Safe Work Pack (SWP) work with the track patrol diagram, if your SWP is wrong, what stops you challenging any errors?
- Consider how each track patrol team safely covers the entire crossover where trains may arrive from different directions?
- Never step out of the confines of the agreed safe system of work.
- What arrangements could you use to avoid unassisted lookout working?
*Company standard NR/L2/TRK/001/mod02
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