Our Ref: HSR/4/2
Head Office Circular: NP/81/21
12th March 2021
To: The Secretary
NETWORK RAIL - ISOLATION ASSISTANTS
I received reports recently from the Network Rail Lead Network Rail Health and Safety Representative, the Assistant General Secretary and Relief Regional Organiser (North) in relation to the general introduction of Isolation Assistants on the Railway Infrastructure, either by Network Rail or the supply chain contractors and labour providers. They were concerned that not having fully trained, certificated, competent isolation teams implementing isolations using would compromise the safety of our members. They also explained that there is support amongst members for maintaining standards of safety and competence.
Your RMT National Executive met on 9th March 2021 to discuss these reports and noted and adopted the following:
That we note the report on file from the Lead Officer and the correspondence from our Lead Health and Safety Rep.
We note that within Network Rail, the standard is that all people involved in providing isolations should be trained to minimum standard of Authorised Person.
However, there is no such requirement for contract staff to hold any competence to carry out this task other than PTS.
We also note that Network Rail are responsible for the safety of the infrastructure and the staff who work on it, it is irrelevant whether the staff are internal or external employees to Network Rail.
Accordingly, the General Secretary is instructed to write to the company demanding that all staff involved in Isolations, whether directly employed by NWR or by contractors, are trained to a minimum standard of Authorised Person. All updates to be placed back before this NEC.
Members to be informed by text and email.
Relevant Branches, Regional Councils and Reps to be advised.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep members advised of any developments.
Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.