May 2012 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about the current lack of supporting documentation available to Controllers of Site Safety (COSSs) working on Network Rail infrastructure.
Following changes to theRule Book, less guidance on applicable rules and procedures has been available to COSSs. The reporter states many of the finer details in theRule Bookare now the responsibility of Network Rail to publish, or are presented in training courses provided by individual companies.
The lastCOSS Handbookwas withdrawn in December 2010 because its terminology was outdated. The reporter believes there has been an information gap since then and that there is currently no documentation that serves as a single point of reference for COSSs.
For example, the reporter highlights the point that a COSS might be required to take a line blockage 18 months after a training course. TheRule Bookstates that a line blockage can be taken with a track circuit operating device, but no further detail is provided so a COSS would have to rely on his or her memory from the training course. This lack of information could lead to mistakes being made.
Other areas where little information is available include Lookout arrangements and the line clear verification process.
Could Network Rail:
Response from RSSB
Following a formal inquiry it was identified that the industry had to address two main issues. The first issue was the amount of rules a person has to be issued with to perform a simple task. The second was the lack of training and competence. For more information about the new approach please visit http://www.rssb.co.uk/rgs/pages/rulebookandnational.aspx.
RSSB, as the custodians of the rules, were remitted to reduce the amount of rules published by identifying in the existingRule Bookmodules what was actually a rule, what was training and competence, what was a company instruction and what could be deleted because it was no longer relevant.
Following this exercise, information published now consists of only rules. However, some of the information that was published before should still be taught as part of training and competence or issued as a company instruction.
All documentation that has previously been published including the oldCOSS Handbookcan still be found on the RSSB website under withdrawn documentation. It must however be understood that because the documents have been withdrawn they will not reflect the current rules.
Awaiting response from Network Rail