50689 Lack of personal protective and cleaning equipment.
May 2012 in Train Operations
Knowledge Skills and experience
Training and briefing
A reporter is concerned that Cleaning Staff at Kingsley Heath
depot are not being provided with the adequate equipment or
training needed to undertake tasks safely and efficiently.
Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The reporter comments that Cleaners are not being provided with
adequate PPE to protect them when cleaning human waste. At present
Cleaners provide their own uniform; however, they do not have
adequate boots, gloves, or face masks to perform these tasks.
Additionally, Cleaners are not given the appropriate cleaning
products or tools to clean such waste- for example, disinfectant
and disposable bags.
Health and safety training knowledge. The
reporter feels that Cleaning Staff also seem to be lacking basic
health and safety knowledge. The reporter gives the example of
staff standing on seats in order to clean overhead storage space.
It is felt that this practice is unsafe as staff could fall or hit
their heads on the lights above. In addition, when cleaning the
trains externally, staff are hosing them down whilst standing
underneath live overhead lines, putting them at risk of
The reporter feels that due to a lack of health
and safety training, Cleaners do not even have the basic health and
safety knowledge required for working on the railway.
Could ISS Facilities Services comment
- The PPE and cleaning materials required by Cleaning Staff and
ensure that these are provided?
- The health and safety training provided to Cleaning Staff and
ensure all staff have a basic knowledge of health and safety in the
Response from ISS Facility
ISS Facility Services would like to thank the
reporter for raising their concerns. We welcome this opportunity to
reiterate that we consider the safety of our employees to be of
In response to the reporter's specific concerns,
a detailed review of the points raised confirms:
- All persons working at the depot are required to wear safety
boots and high-visibility vests/jackets. Compliance to this rule is
rigorously checked. Additional task-specific PPE is detailed
in the relevant risk assessments and is readily available to
employees as and when required. This includes the provision of
wellingtons, gauntlets, face visors and waterproof coats when
cleaning human waste. All items of PPE are issued free of
charge and replaced when necessary. In addition, during their
induction training, all employees are made aware of the requirement
to use all PPE as detailed in the risk assessments. This
requirement has been re-briefed to employees and additional checks
implemented to ensure this requirement is followed at all
It is mandatory for all persons working on the
depot to undergo a depot induction, which details the basic health
and safety controls in place. A competence quiz is employed to
check understanding. In addition, a health and safety
handbook is issued to all employees and they are required to attend
an induction training programme, which highlights the various
health and safety aspects specific to the tasks they are to
undertake, and the various control measures that must be
- The cleaning products and equipment used are considered to be
suitable for the various tasks undertaken. In particular,
reach tools, disinfectant and disposable bags are readily available
and issued to employees as required. The exterior cleaning of
trains involves the washing off of cleaning chemicals, and
controlled low pressure water hoses are utilised for exterior
cleaning. However, ISS are developing a brush type system as
part of the ongoing development of cleaning activities.