May 2012 in London Underground
Double-shifting: The reporter is aware of staff working on the ballast project at night and on other sites during the day. The staff are described as looking physically tired and there are concerns that an accident could occur either on site or when travelling.
Pressure: The reporter is also concerned about the pressure being placed on staff to complete as much work as possible during a shift. It is felt that quantity of work is outweighing quality. Staff are given very little time to check the work they have carried out for faults.
The reporter feels that these two factors combined with a lack of communication create an unsafe working environment where mistakes could easily be made in critical areas such as lighting and signalling. They would like to see a change with the emphasis placed on working correctly and safely.
Could GM Rail Services:
Response from GM Rail Services
The report has been investigated and GM Rail would like to comments as follows.
GM Rail has no knowledge of our staff double shifting and the only concern raised has been by the reporter. The lighting project normally takes place in engineering hours which means that our staff are working a maximum of six hours per shift depending on location. There has been some weekend working but rest days are booked to allow for the change of shift when this has occurred. All works planning is on the basis of one shift per day and we monitor hours worked by each individual. A review of all staff on all projects has not shown any evidence of double shifting.
We set our staff achievable targets dependant on location and accessibility. Our work has been inspected by the client and our defect list is low compared to other contractors undertaking similar works. Any drive for productivity has not compromised the quality of installation.