July 2012 in Network Rail and Suppliers
After overnight accommodation was stopped around six months ago, the reporters say it has been typical for KJ Rail staff to drive from Merseyside to London to work on BAM Nuttall sites for the Evergreen Project. It is believed five or six Drivers travel down from Merseyside for overnight engineering work, each transporting around 15 men.
In practice, this means Drivers have a door-to-door time of 18 hours and get less than four hours' sleep a night. They often work six consecutive nights and are extremely tired. The reporters state there have been some fatigue-related road traffic accidents involving KJ Rail staff travelling home from work.
The reporters say that workers for KJ Rail are told to sign in at High Wycombe to conceal the travel times. It is alleged that paperwork is being amended inappropriately.
Could BAM Nuttall and KJ Rail:
Response from BAM Nuttall
From the project SACC sheets, it is apparent some individuals were occasionally travelling up to six hours per day. However, their shift time was reduced accordingly to 5.5 hours in order to provide a door-to-door time of 11.5 hours, which is well within the maximum permitted 14 hours. The project team recognised that this amount of travel time was not ideal and personnel were encouraged to lodge locally. It is understood that not all individuals took up this offer, overnight accommodation is still being made available to staff. We have had confirmation from KJ Rail that they have never removed the provision of overnight accommodation and that they continue to provide that facility for personnel working on the EG3 and other projects.
The issue of road traffic accidents was also raised with KJ Rail who acknowledge that they are aware of one accident at 07:00 in the Birmingham area. The Driver attributed the incident to a tyre blow-out on the motorway. We have also been assured by KJ Rail that they independently monitor door-to-door travel for their personnel and, where transport is provided, vehicles are now fitted with trackers which are also monitored.