Network Rail - Ballyclare PPE Problems

Our Ref: HSR/2/3
Head Office Circular: NP/339/21
10th September 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


This matter was raised by the RMT at the Network Rail National Health, Safety and Welfare Council held on 9th September 2021.

I am not convinced the company will be looking at changing its process for ordering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The biggest issue is how long the PPE takes to arrive, the use of other staff’s PPE and admin ordering PPE online through companies such as amazon:

Employers have duties concerning the provision and use of PPE at work which must be provided to employees free of charge.

I highlight below the particular issues with Ballyclare, who are meant to be providing Network Rail with their PPE:

• PPE is taking months to arrive
• The company is receiving new orders with sizes differing from to what is stated on the label
• The PPE is weak- it seems that it does not last more than a few months
• Workers are having to rely on the goodwill of the staff by borrowing PPE from others, in some cases from contractors, just so they can continue to work
• Admin staff are resorting to ordering PPE from Amazon
• Certain sizes unable to be ordered- for example extra long legs (which are in the catalogue)
• The PPE helpline is unable to deal with issues in a timely manner

I will keep you advised of developments.

Please bring the contents of this Circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary