Margam Port Talbot South Wales

Head Office Circular NP/305/20
Our Ref: HSR/2/1
17th November 2020
The Secretary

Dear Colleague


Further to Head Office Circular NP/279/20, 13th November 2020 in which I informed you of the publication of RAIB’s report into the tragedy that occurred at Margam on 3rd July 2020 in which two long standing members of the RMT were killed.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) have now considered the report and the recommendations contained in the report and have developed a strategy to deal with track worker safety so that our members will not be exposed to such risks in the future. At their meeting of 15th December 2020 the NEC noted and adopted the following report of their Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the publication of RAIB’s final report into the Margam accident. All of the 11 recommendations made by RAIB have implications for RMT members either in how they work or how their safety is managed. We note in particular that the report recognises the role of trade unions in establishing and maintaining safe systems of work. We further note that many of the concerns identified in the report have been issues our representatives have raised over the years with the employers and the safety authorities.

We are concerned that, with reference to Recommendation 5, Network Rail have previously been unable to accept the need for oversight of its safety improvement programmes. This report demonstrates Network Rail’s failures over recent years to provide our members with a safe working environment.

It is also clear to us that some of the implications of the report’s recommendations may also have an affect on our members’ terms and conditions of employment.

General Secretary is instructed to write to the Chief Executives of Network Rail, RSSB, RDG and to HM Chief Inspector of Railways at ORR calling for the establishment of a group to oversee the rail industry response to the RAIB recommendations.

We note the outline proposals presented to the Health and Safety Sub-committee. General Secretary is instructed to convene a meeting with our Network Rail national industrial and safety representatives from both the maintenance and operations functions to develop a more detailed strategy as our response to this report and its Recommendations.

Further, General Secretary is instructed to distribute copies of the report and the associated Recommendations and to make them available to all Branches and Regional Councils.

Branches and Regional Councils are urged to read the report and to appraise themselves of the report’s recommendations. A have attached copies of the report and a document containing the report’s recommendations to this Circular. In addition the report can be downloaded at:

I will keep you informed of developments with this matter.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary