March 2010 in Network Rail and Suppliers
The extraction of Pandrol clips is of concern to a reporter.
Over time, it has become normal practice to remove Pandrol clips with a hammer and use a pan-puller to put the clip back in, according to the reporter. Using a hammer to extract a clip is unsafe - the clips are spring loaded and they can fly out of the hold and hit or injure a worker. Also, when removing the clips, there is little control over the hammer and the reporter fails to see how a suggestion made by a manager of "putting your foot over it" when doing this is any safer, even with safety boots on.
This normal working practice of using a hammer contradicts what is learnt by new trainees on track induction courses - the tool that should be used when extracting Pandrol clips is a pan-puller and it is only if the clips are too tight or seize to move that a hammer should be used.
The reporter would like Network Rail to clarify the correct procedure to extract Pandrol clips and what tools should be used when engaged in this work?
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for raising their concern regarding the process for removing Pandrol clips.
The process for removing Pandrol clips is that they should be
extracted from the baseplate or housing using a 'Panpuller'. You
should always take care with fastenings which are tight as they can
sometimes release suddenly causing you to lose your balance. If the
clip is tight or seized you may use a hammer or bar to loosen the
clip by gently giving the clip a tap with your foot resting over
You should only ever use a hammer or bar to loosen Pandrol clips as per the agreed safe method of work.
All staff are asked to take additional care as clips can, without warning, fly out of their housings uncontrollably and may cause injury if you use a hammer or bar to remove the clip.