For a real fight on track worker safety

Posted in Off The Rails's blog on Sun, 23/05/2021 - 23:28,
A photograph of a Network Rail track worker

It's great that RMT is developing a strategy for improving track worker safety. RMT has emailed (see below) to tell us to say it is sending a document about improving lineside safety to top safety people at Network Rail, asking for a meeting to discuss it.

Off the Rails thinks it would be great if RMT could send the strategy to members too. We want the chance to discuss measures that will affect our safety.

Four track workers have died at work in the last two years, most recently Tyler Byrne at Surbiton at the start of this year. Network Rail is failing us by not providing us with a safe place of work.

The RAIB investigation into the two track worker deaths at Margam is strongly criticical of Network Rail's management culture. Network Rail has exhibited blindness bordering on unconcern about unsafe practices that it tolerates and encourages within the business. From reading the Margam report, it is clear that major change to improve safety is needed from top to bottom throughout Network Rail.

This is a big opportunity to demand change. Whether it's reducing workload, increasing staff, or any number of proposals we could make. We go to work and put our safety on the line. We are well placed to discuss and decide what Network Rail can do to improve safety.

It's great that RMT is placing its strategy in front of Network Rail. But RMT needs to inform us about what it's demanding and empower us to make extra demands if we need them. The more involved we are, the more we will feel prepared to fight for our safety.


RMT TRACKWORKER SAFETY STRATEGY

I write to inform you that at its meeting on 29th April, 2021 your National Executive Committee (NEC) met to discuss an RMT document “RMT Track Working Principles” when they noted and adopted the following resolution:

That we note a meeting of a drafting group on this matter has taken place and a proposed strategy for improving line-side safety for our members has been developed. This can be found on file. This NEC wholeheartedly endorses these principles.

Accordingly, the General Secretary is instructed to send the document to Martin Frobisher, Group Safety & Engineering Director, Technical Authority at Network Rail, requesting a meeting to discuss this matter.

Members to be informed by text and email.

Relevant Branches, Regional Councils and Reps to be advised.

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