GTR Southern OBS - Resetting of Train Alarm Equipment

Our Ref: HSR/2/6
Head Office Circular: NP/157/20
24th June 2020
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


The Regional Organiser submitted a report confirming that whilst maintaining that OBS do not object to resetting alarms as outlined the Company Council Rep has sough validation for the work through risk assessments.

The role of resetting the equipment falls directly to the driver as part of the responsibilities; however, since the outset and creation of the OBS role the crew have liaised and OBS have frequently reset equipment on what is ostensibly a DOO train.

The task is not the OBS current role but it is being evaluated as such in the working group.

Although RMT members could refuse to carry out the functions outlined until the on train environment is safe to do so, this would place enormous pressure on the individual as this carries quite serious performance related issues.

The OBS conditions state that “the OBS will work with the driver in the safe carriage of customers, tending to any on train fault finding and remedying for which they are competent to assist“.

At its meeting on 17th June 2020, your NEC noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the report on file from the Regional Officer and instruct the General Secretary to write to the company demanding that these duties being performed by our OBS members mean that the safety critical duties of the grade have changed. In light of this report the OBS grade role must be re-negotiated. A meeting between the Regional Organiser and appropriate RMT OBS reps to be set up as a matter of urgency.

Branches and Regional Council be advised.

I am acting in line with these instructions and will keep members appraised of developments.

Please make the contents of this Circular available to all appropriate members.

Yours Sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary