Safety Bulletin - Near Miss Uphill Junction Ref: WWXB22-20

    Safety Bulletin – Near Miss Uphill Junction Ref: WWXB22-20


    On Friday 14 January at 1:10pm, a team of QTS de-vegetation operatives, with approval from the COSS, undertook a back cut to fell an Ash tree, the tree fell where it was expected to, but bounced, dropping off the bank and into the cess.

    The tree lay in the cess with the butt end of the tree facing towards low mileage and the top facing high mileage with its branches encroaching onto the running rail and 4 foot.

    A vegetation operative grabbed the butt end of the tree to try and manoeuvre it to a position to enable them to drag it up on to the banking, whilst doing so he dragged it across into the open line.

    The chainsaw operative also got down the bank to remove the tree from the open line.

    The COSS alerted the two operatives of an approaching train.

    Both operatives were around 2 metres away from the running rail as the train passed them, taking the tips and small branches with it.

    The Cross Country Train driver put on emergency brakes and immediately phoned the signaller.

    No one was physically injured.

    Discussion Points:

  • 1. Why was the tree guide not roped and secured prior to the cut?
  • 2. How do you assure that vegetation teams are following processes and adhering to methodologies?
  • 3.What immediate action should be taken when something falls foul of the line?
  • 4. Is this a common working practice in the culture and behaviour of similar activities? What do you feel would help prevent this from happening?
  • This incident is an ongoing investigation.