Latest Rail News

29.08.18

Nexus lacked ‘effective safe system of work’ during near-miss on Metro line

Procedures from passenger transport executive Nexus “did not assist with the creation of an effective safe system of work,” the RAIB has said in an investigation released after two track workers narrowly avoided being struck by a Tyne and Wear Metro train in February.

In its investigation report, the rail accident branch highlighted certain safety failings which led to the incident earlier this year at Pelaw North Junction.

On 21 February, a train, travelling at around 65km/h at the time, narrowly missed the track workers who managed to move clear of the train two seconds before the train passed them. Neither was injured.

“The incident occurred because the track workers were unaware of the train approaching on the line which they were on,” the report said. “A second train, on an adjacent line, had blocked their view of the approaching train. Although two trains passing each other in such a manner is a regular event at Pelaw North Junction, the system of work which had been set up by the track workers did not take the blocking of a lookout’s view of one train by another into account.

“The RAIB found that Nexus Rail’s procedures did not assist with the creation of an effective safe system of work. Additionally, there was a non-compliance with the rule book relating to the lookout not providing a warning when the sighting of trains became obscured.”

946 s300 Pelaw Jn resize 636712284505788030 Image of track workers, courtesy of RAIB

The RAIB made five recommendations to Nexus, including identifying locations on the Tyne and Wear Metro network “where multiple lookouts are necessary to establish a safe system of work and providing this information to relevant staff”; improving the information available to track workers regarding hazards on the metro network; and improving the quality of on-site assessments carried out. The organisation must also support newly qualified safety-critical track staff in making safe decisions.

The investigation branch also recommended that Nexus strengthen the process it uses to manage staff on prescription medication. On the day before the near-miss, one of the track workers involved told his supervisor that he had been prescribed medication and he had to be accompanied at all times while he was on or near the line as a result—but the worker confirmed that he had not been suffering from any side-effects at the time of the accident.

A Nexus spokesman said: "We have worked closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch as they looked into this incident and we accept their report.

"The safety of our workforce is our top priority at all times. We have a strict set of rules in place to ensure safe working on Metro lines. The report highlights some areas where we can make improvements and tighten up rules and regulations. These improvements are already being made.”

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit: RAIB

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

18/10/2019NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

Switch up your playlist with the first #WeAreRTM podcast, gain exclusive insight into the leaders running the rail industry their opinions on recent headlines, visions for the future and meet the personalities behind the job titles. It's no... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >