Latest Rail News

13.05.16

RAIB flag up recurrent safety concerns after near misses

Dangers associated with track worker safety, track quality, freight train condition and platform interface on British railways all need to be reviewed, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has warned in its corporate report.

The RAIB identified a number of areas which repeatedly recurred in safety incidents in 2014-15, during which it said there were eight incidents in which a multiple fatality accident was only narrowly avoided.

These included the SPAD at Wootton Bassett, which led to the West Coast Railway Company temporarily having its licence suspended, as well as a collision between a train and a collapsed signal post at Newbury and a derailment at Godmersham.

RAIB said that it observed that problems with leadership and co-operation between teams were still a recurring problem in incidents, despite similar concerns being raised last year.

However, it said it was encouraging that Network Rail had introduced initiatives such as ‘Planning and Delivery of Safe Work’ to encourage track worker safety.

It is also concerned about the management of recurrent track faults such as twist and cyclic top after investigating six cases involving poor track quality.

It found the freight industry suffered from issues including unevenly distributed loads, poorly designed spigots and design and maintenance of vehicles.

It repeated its concerns about the safety of door operating systems following a serious passenger injury at West Wickham and also identified level crossings, earthworks and structures as recurrent areas of concern.

Last year was the first year in history without a rail worker being killed, although Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways, warned that it is vital to avoid complacency over safety.

The corporate report also reveals that RAIB will receive a small funding decrease next year, from £4.8m to £4.7m.

(Image c. Sign Express)

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Comments

CT   13/05/2016 at 19:23

Oh dear - please NEVER publicity announce this... Someone is now bound to die fairly soon. (And sure, it could even be me) working "On/Near..." BR proudly announced its first fatality-fee year - and someone died working on the line only weeks later. Walk Facing Traffic - Lift Your Feet and - KEEPING LOOKING BEHIND YOU. Stay Safe.

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