Our ref: HSR/2/26

Head Office Circular: NP/20/24

19th January 2024

To: The Secretary





Dear Colleague,




Further to Head Office Circular NP/199/23, I have received a report from the Lead Officer on a presentation by Dr Paul Jackson from Fresh Air Training last month. Dr Jackson is currently overseeing a pilot study in Scotland that evaluates the efficacy of existing protocols for Fatigue Risk Management (NR/L2/OHS/003 Standard).


Dr Jackson explained the study will try to understand and examine:


•    What challenges exist for a region trying to comply with the NR/L2/OHS/003 Standard?

•    How do stated procedures work in practice?

•    How is fatigue impacting on the workforce and the operation, and what are the contributors to this fatigue?

•    Is there any value in conducting similar fatigue assessments across all regions?


This task must be completed within the current fiscal year. Consequently, interviews are scheduled to take place in early February with NR Scotland Functional Leads who are responsible for implementing the Standard, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of:


1.   Current arrangements for managing fatigue (stated procedures)

2.   Roles most affected by fatigue. (Maintenance Works Delivery, Construction Managers/ Assistant CMs, Signallers, Reactive S&T teams, Emergency Response, On-Call, Lone workers, Supervisors, Possession Management, Overhead line Isolation Teams, Contractor staff, Senior Management). This list is not exhaustive

3.   Conditions that may be unique to NR Scotland, and challenges faced in implementing the Standard.


Following the aforementioned tasks, a series of 10 days of interviews and discussion groups are scheduled to take place with RMT Reps and members (front-line staff) in mid-February. 

This is aimed at gathering the necessary data to conclude the study.


RMT Lead Representatives are of the opinion that active participation in this pilot study is crucial. This is to ensure that they, along with our members, have the opportunity to express their views on how fatigue is currently managed with the temporary variation (TV) to the NR/L2/OHS/003 Standard. Additionally, their aim to discuss how it will be managed in the future to align with the NR/L2/OHS/003 Standard, not only in Scotland but for the entire Network Rail workforce.


Your National Executive Committee (NEC), at its meeting on 11th January 2024, noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee:


We note the report on file from the Lead Officer.


The General Secretary is instructed to write to Network Rail informing the company that RMT will participate in the pilot study.


The General Secretary is further instructed to seek an updated report from the Lead Officer further to this pilot study taking place and this matter to be placed back before this NEC.


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


Yours sincerely



Michael Lynch

General Secretary