January 2012 in Freight Operations
A reporter has raised several concerns about the condition of the Freightliner mess room and Booking On Point (BOP) on platform three at Peterborough. The room is used by both HeavyHaul and InterModal Drivers.
Temperature:During the summer, heat gets trapped inside the room and cannot be released because there are no windows. It becomes very hot and stifling inside making it uncomfortable for Drivers to use. In the winter, the opposite is true because heat escapes easily and the heaters are ineffective at heating up the room.
Keypad entry:The keypad used to enter the room has not been working for some time so Drivers have to ask East Coast staff for a key to gain access. To save time walking over bridges to collect and return the key, staff have sometimes used a knife to wedge open the door instead.
Wet wipes:With no running water staff need to use wet wipes to keep their hands clean. However, these have not been provided by Freightliner.
Electricity:There has been no electricity in the room for at least a month. This means that staff cannot book on for work using the telephone, they cannot use the kettle, the water dispenser delivers warm water rather than cold, safety-related notices are not received and timesheets cannot be sent via the fax machine. Also, the two strip lights do not have any covers on them, the fire extinguishers are past the test dates and other electrical items all require PAT testing.
If Freightliner are unable to address all the issues, the reporter would like to see the location of the BOP/mess room moved entirely so that more appropriate facilities are provided to all Drivers. As the room is leased from East Coast, could another room be sourced?
Response from Freightliner Group
While noting the reporter's concerns we would stress that the Freightliner Heavy Haul Booking On Point (BOP) at Peterborough is not a Personal Needs Break (PNB) point.
In May 2010 the ASLEF Health and Safety Representative visited the site and agreed with First Capital Connect that we should share their facilities which were deemed suitable. A walking route was agreed and all these details were displayed at the BOP. Minutes of this meeting can be provided if required. Peterborough Heavy Haul Drivers have no PNBs booked at their BOP and local management have received no complaints about PNB facilities or lack of.
"...the booking on point at Peterborough is not a personal needs break point."
Washing facilities are provided at the authorised PNB point - as the BOP is there purely for that purpose we see no requirement to provide wet wipes at the location. We have had problems recently with the coded door lock which has now been repaired. Problems with the electricity supply to the sockets, only in the BOP was caused by our landlords carrying out work without our knowledge. Lighting was not affected. Our own electrical contractors have attended the site to look at the socket problem.