SAFETY BULLETIN NRB22-04 – NEAR MISS WITH TAMPER OPERATIVE
On 13 May 2022 at approximately 01:50 a Tamper Operative narrowly missed being struck by a passing passenger train.
The Operative was a late substituteprovided by a supplier to make up the 3-person teamfor a plain line tamp, The Operative had driven from their home in Kent to meet a Network Rail Person in Charge (PIC) at the site access point near Colchester.
The location was a two-line stretch of track. The line nearest the access gate was in an engineering possession but the other one remained open to trains running at line speed.
After receiving a briefing from the PIC (including of the protection limits) the Operative walked towards the tamper which was already working. The PIC remained at the access.
Front facing CCTV from the tamper shows the Operative walk in the 4-foot of the line under possession towards the tamper before stepping into the 6-foot between the two lines.
The near miss was with a passenger train on the open line. As the train passed, the Operative was not in a position of safety.
Walking in the cess was an option used by others, but not the Operative.
The PIC was unaware the event had occurred and although there was a report by the supplier’s tamper staff to their control, neither Route Control nor SCO24:7 were informed so no MOM attended.
A joint investigation by the route, Route Services and the tamper supplier has started.
- As a COSS/PIC what questions should you ask to check everyone understands the limits of their protection zone?
- How do you make sure your COSS / PIC can see and communicate with you whilst you are on the infrastructure?
- Are you fit to work, well rested and do you know what work you are going to do?
- Always follow the instructions given in the PIC/COSS briefing and keep to the walking route briefed.
- Report all safety events on Network Rail infrastructure to SCO24:7 and the appropriate Route Control before the end of the shift.
- If you are unsure about any aspect of the safety brief ask for further clarification/details.