Line Blockage Resolution

Our Ref: HSR/2/15
Head Office Circular: NP/216/19
24th October 2019
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Wakefield and Healy Mills Branch submitted the following resolution:

This branch wishes to place on record our deepest sympathies to the families and colleagues of the two track workers tragically killed whilst doing their jobs.

We further understand why the General Secretary would call for a suspension of similar work until the full facts of this tragic incident are established.
However, prior to embarking upon any campaign based around working on or about the line, due consideration ought to be given that any such move does not merely move the risk from one group of workers to another. Specifically, that any calls for more use of ‘green zone’ working with line blockages be 100% conditional upon ‘additional protection’(detonators/disconnections/TCOD/lockouts/EPRs) being in place and subject to a work load risk assessment for the signaller.
As Network Rail press ahead with their ‘ROC migration strategy’ single manned workstations are controlling ever bigger areas which are getting busier and busier, yet still require maintaining on the ground. We believe that our track workers are worth more than a piece of paper and the signallers’ vigilance to remain safe.
We therefore call upon the NEC to instruct the General Secretary to ensure that any industrial or publicity campaign upon track safety includes mandatory ‘additional protection’ measures for line blockages to properly protect our track workers members and that safety driven (rather than performance driven) workload risk assessments be in place for the protection of our signaller members.
The resolution was considered by the NEC at their meeting of 22nd October 2019 where they noted and adopted the following report of their Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the resolution on file from our Wakefield and Healy Mills Branch. This proposal is in line with adopted union policy and we instruct the General Secretary to write to Network Rail re-stating our belief that secondary protection must be a mandatory requirement for all line blockages.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions. Please make the contents of this circular available to all appropriate members.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary