SAFETY ALERT NRX21-02 – NEAR MISS WITH TWO TRACK WORKERS NEAR KETTERING
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.
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS REQUIRED:
Responsible managers, Safe Work Pack (SWP) planners and line managers should:
- Review all SWPs for forthcoming works where the safe system of work is separation.
- Verify that the planned activities can be safely performed this way at each specific location.
- Identify whether there are safer alternative means of performing tasks, i.e. removing the need for people to go on track.