Head Office Circular NP/196/20
12th August 2020
ALL REGIONAL COUNCILS
LIVE LINE TESTERS
Further to Circular NP/120/20, dated 22nd June 2020, RMT had requested that all HVD03 Live Line Indicators be removed from service by the 14th August and replaced with a more fit for purpose piece of equipment. Network Rai (NR) fed back saying that the HVD03 will be removed from service for its staff across all routes as requested from the 14th August. Unfortunately NR are proposing that our contractor colleagues continue to use the HVD03 until the 4th January 2021 as it is struggling to supply alternative live line indicators.
We will therefore be in in a situation where there will be conflicting methods of working for safely testing OHL which will potentially be confusing for all OHL staff and ECROs. There could also be the scenario going forward where our contractor colleagues will be using the withdrawn testers and issuing permits to work to NR staff which could be problematic, to say the least.
Following receipt of a report of the Live Line Indicator Working Group’s concerns from the RMT Lead Union Health and Safety Representative, your National Executive Committee noted and agreed the following report of its Health and Safety Sub Committee on 11th August:
We note the Lead Union Health and Safety Representative’s report and share his concerns. We note that the company have procurement issues with the supply of the new equipment and have grave concerns about the lack of provision for the contractor community and the risks this poses to workers outside Network Rail. Our contractor members should therefore be advised of the live line testers that are not up to standard and potentially life threatening.
The General Secretary is instructed to write to Network Rail to demand that the supply of the new equipment to the contractor community is completed by Friday 9th October 2020.
Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.
Reps throughout the infrastructure sector to be advised.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep members appraised of any developments.
Members are reminded about your right to invoke the Worksafe Procedure if you believe you are endangered due to the set-up, system used or equipment.