November 2010 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter raises concerns about several unsafe practices occurring during refurbishment works at Sutton station by Metropex staff who are currently contracted by YJLi.
The reporter is aware that RIMINI packs used on site have not always been signed off by the Planner, although they should be before works commence. Also, some site rules have not been followed:
The reporter would like YJLi to inspect the work practices at Sutton station and ensure the rules outlined in their safety booklets are being adhered to by Metropex staff.
YJLi would like to thank CIRAS for bringing this matter to their attention and respond with the following.
Sutton station is one of a number of stations that YJLi are
currently working on for Southern Railways as part of the Refresh
Project. The station at Sutton is being worked on by Metropex under
YJLi control. Metropex are a Link-Up approved contractor and have
signed up to follow the YJLi site rules whilst on the
Following receipt of the complaint it has been dealt with in two ways; an investigation has been carried out by YJLi for CIRAS and Metropex have been asked for a formal statement on the issues raised. Their response is included after the YJLi investigation findings.
All the RIMINI paperwork is prepared and provided by YJLi. The YJLi Night Manager then takes the prepared file to the station and briefs the Metropex Controller of Site Safety (COSS). This briefing is then signed to confirm understanding. This system ensures no unsigned RIMINI plans or paperwork have been issued by YJLi Managers to any COSS on the station. As part of the COSS Pack RT9909, COSS briefing forms are provided. These are not signed until completed by the COSS for the shift. Also included are partially completed RT3181 forms for the T2 protection. Again these would be completed and signed on the night by the COSS. No unsigned RIMIN plan was found onsite during the inspection.
Towers without PASMA operatives
Although YJLi do not have a permanent presence on the site, the company do have Site Managers on days and nights that visit and spend time ensuring that the rules are being followed, the work being carried out is safe and acceptable to the client. There have been no reports of towers erected by non-PASMA operatives. After the complaint was received, the site was visited and all towers found were signed off when in use by the PASMA operatives, who had their certification with them and showed this when challenged. A check on the paperwork from previous shifts did not show any shifts where a PASMA trained operative was not present for high level works.
When the site was visited no operative was seen wearing Rigger boots. However, the operatives using the steam cleaner for chewing gum removal have to wear waterproof clothing and Wellington boots as part of their task specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Again a check with the Managers was carried out; they state they have not witnessed operatives wearing Rigger boots.
Red triangle operative working alone
YJLi do not approve of lone working for any operative unless
there is a specific task briefing, risk assessment and agreed
checking procedures in place for any operative. We are aware that
there is an operative who has a red triangle on his card but no one
has witnessed him not working with others. Again when the site was
visited no operative was seen lone working anywhere on the
Water onto live rails
YJLi do warn of the dangers of the live rails as part of their induction and also that all water produced during works has to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Some of the tasks that have to be carried out produce water. These are the high pressure chewing gum removal and the roof steam cleaning. On 28 April while carrying out pressure washing to the stairways to platform two, it was found that a drain was blocked and to clear the water it was swept onto the tracks.
This was spotted by the YJLi Manager and stopped immediately. The work was also stopped until the drain was cleared and proper filters were put in place to capture any debris before it blocked the drains. The picture taken at the time is shown below.
When this action was stopped, the lines through the station were under T3 possession by Balfour Beatty and there were no live rails. However, all contractors were warned of the danger if the rails had been live and also the contamination it could cause to ballast. There have been no further reports of this happening since and during the inspection the drains were found to have filters placed over then in the areas being cleaned.
Below is the response from Metropex regarding the report.
Following issuance of CSCC/053 and attached CIRAS report we would respond as follows.
Following site inductions, regular task briefings and toolbox talks are carried out during the works to ensure that safety procedures are adhered to.