August 2009 in Train Operations
Concern has been raised about the design and use of on-board trolleys that provide passengers with hot and cold drinks and cold food on the Voyager trains and HSTs across almost all Cross Country routes. The reporter is aware of several members of staff suffering injuries as a result of using the trolleys.
According to the reporter, the trolleys weigh between 12 and 16 stone, are top heavy, and quite tall (at least five feet in height). Concerns have been raised about a number of issues:
The reporter feels that their concerns are being ignored even though staff have sustained injuries from using the trolleys. They suggest double-manning the trolleys to stop them from toppling over.
Can the faults be repaired and the design of the trolleys addressed to mitigate the risk of further injuries to staff and possibly to passengers?
The trolley used on CrossCountry Voyagers and HSTs has been manufactured especially for our use; this was following extensive trials and full risk assessment, to meet the challenges of providing a catering service from a trolley in particular on Voyager type stock.
Prior to introduction all staff undertook some training on the operation and correct handling, including brake application.
Since its introduction we have now gained a great deal of experience of service at seat and the unique 6 wheel trolley which will now be rolled out over both fleets.
In gaining the experience we have made a number of changes to the range of products and this is changing almost week by week, this did result in some overloading of the trolley in the early stages, but better stock control and briefing has changed the way the trolley is loading.
We also became aware of accidents relating to the drawer as the reporter highlights, this has now resulted in a modification to the trolley and the fitment of a better catch which has reduced the incidents.
We continue to monitor each period the number and types of incidents, and take appropriate steps to reduce and eliminate the types of incidents being reported. Catering crews are gaining valuable experience in service routines and safe trolley operation, this includes locations where the infrastructure make trolley operations slightly more difficult for a short period of time. We are also looking at service routines for the different type of trains, including the longer HST trains.
As part of the continual monitoring of accidents we are revisiting our risk assessments and will change them as appropriate with any changes to risk levels that may arise.
It is important that staff do report all accidents, and discuss with their manager their concerns.