Our Ref: HSR/2/1
Head Office Circular: NP/259/21
21st July 2021
To: The Secretary
INJURIES FROM FALLING BETWEEN TRAIN AND PLATFORM
Further to Head Office Circular NP/191/21, dated 2nd June 2021, I received the following response, from Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, Office of Rail and Road (ORR):
Thank you for your letter of 7th June 2021 requesting information on industry-wide initiatives on train-platform interface safety issues.
The ‘Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railways’ initiative is the campaign championed by RSSB to secure collaboration from within the rail industry on a number of key risk themes. One of those risk themes is around the risks to people on trains and at stations and initiatives to improve risk control in this theme is the focus of the People on Trains and Stations Risk Group (PTSRG).
There are a number of working groups under PTSRG and one of these, chaired by Ellyn Freitas Camacho, is the PTI Working Group. More information about that group, including the scope and membership can be found here https://www.rssb.co.uk/what-we-do/groups-and-committees/safety/ssrg/ptsrg/pti-wg.
PTSRG sets the strategic direction for activities and a valued member of that group was your representative Paul Clyndes. I have spoken with Katy Haylett, who is the RSSB representative coordinating PTSRG, and she is keen for RMT to field someone to replace Paul. I also have representatives on PTSRG and the PTI Working Group, and we will explore with those groups the work that is being done around managing the risks to members of staff, which I anticipate is the basis for your question.
With respect to other ORR activities, management of risks at the platform-train interface remains a risk area where we focus our activities and this is not limited to passengers. More information on our strategy for this risk area can be found in our Interface System Safety strategic risk chapter (https://www.orr.gov.uk/sites/default/files/om/safety-strategy-chapter-5.pdf).
We recently served an improvement notice on Pre-Metro Operations Limited following the fall of a driver from a train at Stourbridge Junction. Whilst the fall did not actually occur at a platform, the matter was concerned with the failure to undertake a risk assessment for train-crew boarding and alighting trains, albeit in this case to ground level. We have similarly investigated, and will continue to investigate, other incidents where train-crew have fallen between the train and the platform when boarding/alighting. However, I have checked with the inspector who leads for West Midlands Trains and we have not been made aware of the incident at Hednesford. I should be grateful if you could provide more details of this incident, including date and time, and any matter you think we should particularly explore. Matt Farrell, who heads up the Mainline Operators Group, will deal with this matter.
If you would like to discuss this important issue further, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Your National Executive Committee, at its meeting on 20th July, noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee:
We note the reply from ORR.
The General Secretary is instructed to seek a report from the Lead Union Health and Safety Representative about the Hednesford incident and furnish ORR with the details.
The General Secretary is further instructed to advise ORR that the Health and Safety Officer will represent RMT on the People on Trains and Stations Risk Group.
Any updates to be placed before this NEC.
Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.