Network Rail Fatigue Standard Compliance

Our ref: HSR/2/4
Head Office Circular: NP/226/22
18th October 2022
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


I am in receipt of correspondence from Network Rail, informing RMT of a revised approach to fatigue management which means there will be changes made to the new fatigue standard due for compliance on the 29th October 2022.

The company advises me that it wishes to take a “caring approach” to fatigue and have a culture where colleagues understand the signs of fatigue in themselves and in others and can speak up if they are not alert enough to work safely. The company wants its systems and planning to support the welfare of its workers, taking action sooner, where people may be at risk of fatigue. The essence of the changes made are as follows:

Simple fatigue management processes for non-rostered employees, that focus on caring discussions between line managers and their teams
Fewer, better, questions in fatigue assessments
On exceeding 60hrs in 7 days, blanket controls are not mandated, unless risk is high
Employees can self-assess for fatigue; reducing burden on managers and empowering employees
Organisations can choose which fatigue modelling tool (biomathematical model) they want to use

I am also in receipt of a resolution from Dartford & District branch as below:

Dartford & District Branch are concerned over the lack of clarity in regards to Network Rail Standard on fatigue 2022. ORR instructed Network Rail to bring down fatigue by limiting numbers of hours worked to a maximum of 60 hours in a 7 day rolling week. Network Rail created a standard, which is attached to this resolution. Some Routes have implemented rosters complying with this standard, which has created more jobs, which is in accordance with RMT Policy National Operation Council has informed Route Reps that this standard is in the process of being cancelled or at the very least changed but there seem to be no documentation on these claims. Further NOC has advised reps to halt any further roster negotiations unless staff want a different roster. This could potentially mean a roster coming in with very short notice if our reps are halting this without proper cause. This branch request the NEC clarify the RMT decision on working hours and confirm whether Network Rail fatigue 2022 standard has been cancelled and any associated information as soon as possible.

Your National Executive Committee, at its meeting on 13th October 2022, noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the correspondence on file from the company and the resolution from Dartford and District Branch.

The General Secretary is instructed to arrange a meeting with between our Network Rail Lead Union Health and Safety Representatives, National Operations Council Representatives, and Health & Safety Sub-committee prior to 29th October 2022, following which clarification can be sought from the company in line with the Branch resolution, as appropriate.

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