East Coast Hi-Vis Jackets

Our Ref: HSR/2/3
Head Office Circular: NP/058/15
9th April 2015

The Secretary

Dear Colleague


Edinburgh No.1 and Portobello Branch submitted the following resolution to the General Grades Committee:

Back in 2012 members of Edinburgh No.1 employed by East Coast to work on Waverley Station objected on safety grounds when East Coast made the wearing     of a tabard a condition of being paid the bonus associated with the London Olympics as the tabard failed to comply with Railway Group standard in force at that time. They lost part of the bonus because of this.

East Coast are now attempting to introduce such tabards again across the route on the grounds that customers like them, they can easily identify staff so this means staff can give good customer service if they wear them. Unfortunately although they recognise staff fears regarding the garments not being quick release and will not enforce their use when staff are engaged in despatch of trains they will not stop staff that choose to wear them whilst despatching.

Whilst members of our branch have been travelling over the network they have reported seeing similar vests without any form of quick release being worn in numerous locations by staff engaged in station duties including despatch.

In the view of this branch staff that wear any sort of tabard/vest whilst     engaged in despatch duties should ensure that it is fitted with quick release     fastenings.

This branch therefore calls upon the GGC to instruct the General Secretary to contact all train operating companies informing them that whilst we accept the     use of tabards/vests enhances the visibility of staff on crowded stations they must be fitted with quick release fastenings to fully ensure staff safety especially when staff are engaged in departing trains, a duty that involves them in coming within 1.25m of the platform edge.

We further ask that the GGC instructs the General Secretary to write to the RSSB expressing our concerns that GO/RT3279 was amended in 2012 removing the standard for fastenings, and we should mount a campaign to have that standard reinstated and the need for such garments to be compliant with it when and if being worn by any station staff undertaking platform duties which call on them being within 1.25m of the platform edge at all times.

On giving consideration to this resolution the General Grades Committee noted and adopted the following report from their Health and Safety Sub-Committee:

We note the concerns of the Edinburgh No.1 and Portobello Branch and instruct the General Secretary to take up their concerns in line with the resolution.

Branches and Regional Councils be advised.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep you informed of developments with this case.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary