Lookout Operated Warning System - (LOWS)
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Our Ref: HSR/2/6
Head Office Circular: NP/093/14
20th May 2014
ALL REGIONAL COUNCILS
ALL HEALTH AND SAFETY REPS – NETWORK RAIL AND PRINCIPAL CONTRACTORS
LOOKOUT OPERATED WARNING SYSTEM – (LOWS)
There have been a number of recent failures involving LOWS on the infrastructure both with Network Rail directly employed staff and also staff of Network Rail’s contractors. The RMT have reviewed their position on this matter and can no longer support LOWS’s use on the infrastructure until we have had proper consideration of the circumstances that have led to the recent failures and a detailed plan put in place that addresses the risks arising from LOWS’s usage.
I have informed Network Rail and the ORR of this view and informed them that we will be instructing our members that we do not believe that LOWS provides an adequate safe system of work and that until the joint review has concluded they should not use LOWS as a form of protection for work on the infrastructure. RMT members are therefore instructed that, should planned or un-planned work that they are due to undertake have LOWS as a method of protection then they should place themselves in a position of safety and invoke the worksafe procedure.
Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members as soon as possible.
Acting General Secretary