Latest Rail News

24.04.15

Site safety changes from May affect everyone working on railway

The phased implementation of Network Rail’s Planning and Delivering Safe Work (PDSW) Programme starts in earnest next month, with major changes to site safety, job roles and permit systems on their way.

Network Rail has been developing the programme for two years, focused on three new elements: electronic permitting (ePermit) technology; a single national Control of Work Process; and the introduction of a new competence of Safe Work Leader (SWL) of which there will be three levels.

The programme will be introduced from 15 May on the East Midlands route, which has been piloting the initiative in the last year. The national roll-out of the programme will be complete by the end of the calendar year, RTM was told.

Sue Coverdale, programme manager for roles and responsibilities on PDSW, told us: “It is such a big change that it is not just about introducing a new safety role, or new technology.

“In order to make any change last we’ve got to change the way that we work, think and the way that we plan. Of course that doesn’t just happen automatically. What has been fantastic on East Midlands is that all the relevant parties have been coming together and asking what it means for them and how they will have to change their working patterns and plans.

“What we are seeing is a change in behaviour and how people are proactively coming together. We all recognise that by planning better and identifying the risks and hazards up front and thinking about the controls before we go onsite will improve our workforce safety but also increase our productivity.”

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Chris Bouttell, NR workforce development specialist team leader, who has been delivering PDSW training at York Engineers’ Triangle workforce development site.

RTM visited Network Rail’s workforce development centre in York to find out more about the PDSW programme and implementation. Read more about this in our exclusive preview in the April/May Railtex edition of RTM.

To learn more about the programme, click here.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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