Our Ref: HSR/2/12
Head Office Circular: NP/317/13
18th November 2013

The Secretary

Dear Colleague


Brighton and Hove City Branch submitted the following resolution to the General Grades Committee (GGC):

Brighton and Hove City Branch have deep concerns over the safety of our members and the railway system in and around the Balcombe area, due to the on-going activities via drilling for shale gas; this process is commonly known as 'Fracking'.
Our branch and members are unhappy that Network Rail appear not to have undertaken the required risk assessments for such activities that are only a few chain away from the railway station. (a chain being 22 yards)
Recent activity and research has identified the alleged failure of Network Rail to respond diligently to the staged requests for change of use for this land adjacent to the Brighton to London mainline, and significantly no risk assessment has been forthcoming to employees or planning committees within the county council.
Apart from our members who work in that area, either via the TOC or via maintenance companies, there is also the mainline track, signals, numerous structures and Balcombe tunnel to consider.
We ask the General Secretary to seek assurances from Network Rail and for full disclosure of associated risk assessments for the works taking place in that area, and that further contact should be made with the emergency services such as the Fire Brigades Union informing them of our concerns over the failure to analyse and assess the comprehensive risks, hazards and concerns at that location and site.

The GGC have noted and adopted the following report from their Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the resolution from our Brighton and Hove City Branch. We instruct the General Secretary to take up the Branch’s concerns as outlined in the resolution,

Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.

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

Bob Crow
General Secretary