Rail service improvements and disruptions

10.07.19

Network Rail launches safety task force

Network Rail has launched a new task force to improve safety measures for employees that work on the railways, the company announced today.

The team of safety experts, expected to cost £70m, will bring together multiple strands of work from across the company aimed at improving safety for track-workers.

Commenting on the initiative, Network Rail’s group safety, technical and engineering director, Martin Frobisher, said: “We will make it safer to work on or near the railway than it is today. Everyone should expect to get home safe every day.

“While our track record has been good and improving, there are still too many close-calls and that will be addressed.”

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the railways’ safety regulator, has also signalled its concerns about Network Rail’s safety measures, handing the company two improvement notices for safety precautions.

Responding to the notices, Mr Frobisher said: “We have been working with the ORR and our trade unions for many months to help us make working on the railway safer. Like our regulator, we want to see speedier progress.

“The tragic deaths in Wales last week are a stark reminder to us all that more needs to be done. We will rise to that challenge, as losing more of our railway family is not something we can tolerate.”

The task force, headed by Mr Frobisher, will accelerate its current ‘Near Miss Reduction Programme’ and will pull together multiple programmes that have been working over the past eight months to improve track-worker safety.

The announcement follows a fatal incident involving two rail workers near Port Talbot last week.

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