January 2010 in Train Operations
A driver is concerned that face-to-face safety briefs are being conducted far less frequently than they once were at London Midland, both at Worcester and Birmingham New Street. Face-to-face briefs invite active participation from drivers who can discuss any resignalling arrangements, changes to rules and procedures, and any recent SPADS or incidents that have occurred. They encourage participants to learn the lessons from past mistakes, as well as informing them of changes they need to know about.
But the preference now is to use a monthly booklet to brief out this information, a practice the reporter views as far less effective because it relies more on passively "soaking up‟ information.
According to the reporter, some drivers have received no face-to-face briefs in the last six months. Though it is still possible to arrange these, it would normally have to be outside regular working hours. He would like to see less of a reliance on the booklet for briefing out important safety critical information, and a greater emphasis on face-to-face briefs. In his opinion, learning would be enhanced considerably if face-to-face briefs took place on a fixed cycle, say every three months. Please comment.
The drivers monthly briefing booklet, Safety up Front is issued on a monthly basis and the driver managers will be discussing the contents of these booklets with all drivers each month via a short feedback session. This will take place on a 1-2-1 basis, and will allow the drivers to raise any concerns they may have and allow them to check their understanding of the contents.
The monthly briefing booklets ensure that drivers receive timely updates on safety of the line incidents, best practice in operations, seasonal briefs and lessons learnt. Any driver stating they are unsure or confused with any item within the brief will be given adequate time to understand the issues and will be re-briefed if necessary.
The reporter is correct in stating that the face to face
encounters can, and do take place outside of their regular working
hours as the drivers have received an enhanced payment for this;
however this is not compulsory and as the reporter states it is
possible to arrange these inside their working day.
With regard to the group safety briefs, these will be taking place every six months to supplement the Safety up Front booklet and to allow the group interaction to take place.