April 2011 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about the safety of Network Rail staff at user worked crossings in Kent because the rules about phoning the Signaller appear to be ignored sometimes. This is potentially an issue on the Ashford to Canterbury and Ashford to Ramsgate Lines.
Though misuse of crossings is normally associated with members of the public, the reporter fears staff are perhaps becoming complacent and are therefore a potential source of additional risk in the area. Where a phone is installed, the proper procedure is to:
Given the potential safety risk to staff and the wider public, the reporter would like Network Rail to set a good example. It is suggested that this would then be consistent with the "Don‟t Run the Risk!‟ message which is normally targeted at the general public. The reporter suggests Network Rail could consider:
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for bringing their concerns to our attention.
Network Rail takes safety very seriously, particularly at level crossings as evidenced by the recent television campaigns.
The signs provided at a User Work Crossings (UWC) are in accordance with Railway Safety Principle Guidance, which is a document produced by the Office of Rail Regulation.
Instructions on signs at any level crossing apply to everyone using the crossing. This includes railway staff. Being a member of railway staff does not exempt an individual from following these instructions; indeed railway staff should be setting a good example. The number of occasions that railway staff will use a UWC to traverse the railway is fairly limited. However, a briefing has been produced for staff working in the area described in the report which will be delivered over the next few weeks. Network Rail would again like to thank the reporter for expressing their concerns.