Network Rail - Conclusion of SATWS Safety Equipment Consultation

Our Ref: HSR/2/6
Head Office Circular: NP/194/21
3rd June 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Network Rail’s Safety Task Force Director has written to me proposing that the Semi-Automatic Track Warning Systems (SATWS) consultation paper, along with the version-controlled question and answer document is further updated to confirm:

• The SATWS/Automatic Track Warning Systems (ATWS) safety equipment will be designated a signalling asset

• Installation, removal and replacement of the train sensors will be undertaken by workers in the S&T discipline with the relevant SATWS training

• Following installation of the sensors, the equipment can then be operated by any discipline once they have been trained and are competent to do so.

Whilst the company believes that the SATWS safety equipment training will enable trained individuals from any discipline to safely install the train sensors, it sees some merit in the arguments put forward by the representatives that train sensors should only be installed by S&T staff. It certainly sees merit in the 12-month nationwide installation phase of the circa 200 fixed sites that it has identified to date.

The company would like to review the ongoing roll-out of SATWS safety equipment across the country at least every 3 months with the safety reps over the first 12 months. As a part of this review process, it would like to consider whether further work teams from other asset disciplines could be offered protection if trained and competent individuals from other asset disciplines were to install the train sensors. Having said that, its stance is set out in the 3 bullet-points above.

Your National Executive Committee, at its meeting on 25th May, noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the correspondence on file from Network Rail and that the consultation is now concluded.

The General Secretary is instructed to write to the Company noting its letter of 21st May 2021 and that it will be reviewed every three months on the documentation it sent out with the with the Health and Safety Reps; however, if the company refers to any changes on who installs and fits/repairs this should come back to NMC.

Further, the General Secretary is to inform the company of our view that the training for this equipment should be limited to the individuals and areas where it is actually being deployed.

Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary