In-Cab Radio Communication

Our Ref: HSR/4/5
Head Office Circular: NP/268/14
15th December 2014

The Secretary

Dear Colleague


Further to Head Office Circular NP/242/14, 17th November 2014 I have received assurances from ORR as follows:

•    ORR will only consider taking legal action against an individual if there has been a serious breach of Health and Safety Legislation. If a driver performs their duties consistent with their training, competence and written procedures, or as otherwise instructed by a person with the appropriate authority, even if those instructions or written procedures were not robust, we would not take action against the driver.
•    If a driver was proceeding, as instructed, to a ‘suitable’ location identified within the contingency arrangements, but following investigation, it was identified that the location was not suitable or the contingency arrangements were not fit for purpose, no action would be taken against the train driver. ORR may however consider taking action against the duty holder responsible for producing those contingency arrangements.
•    ORR accepts there may be inconsistencies between each Train Operators and Network Rail route’s contingency arrangements for in-service failures of the train radio, or system failures. Also different interpretations of terms used within the rules, for example; ‘Suitable’ location, ‘Enter service’ etc.

An industry wide GSM-R Failures Working Group has been established and RMT have been offered and will take up representation on that group. On the basis of these assurances and the establishment of the Working Group I am content that the instruction issued in our previous Circular (NP/242/14) can now be revoked.

Should Branches or individual train driver members have information that would be useful to our representative on the Working Group please contact the Health and Safety section at Head Office.

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

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary