Our ref: HSR/2/7
Head Office Circular: NP/102/22
22th April 2022
To: The Secretary
NETWORK RAIL: WORK INSTRUCTION – COVID-19 CONTINGENCY PLAN: SAFE WORKING PRACTICES
FOR THE ATTENTION OF ALL NETWORK RAIL EMPLOYEES
Further to Head Office Circular NP/461/21, dated 20th December 2021, at its meeting on 21st April, your National Executive Committee (NEC) considered a proposal from Network Rail to remove its Standard NR/L2/MTC/CP009. The NEC noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee:
We note with the concern the proposal of Network Rail to remove their Standard NR/L2/MTC/CP009 – something RMT are not in agreement with.
If the Company proceed as planned this would leave those who previously referred to as ‘CEV’ in a very vulnerable position as RMT had ensured that controls were in place to ensure that they kept their own vehicles. If the standard is removed, these members would have to go back to sharing vans, which is not acceptable - as they are still vulnerable - and the pandemic is not over.
We are also concerned that NWR have a two-tier approach to the management of the Covid-19 risk, with one approach being applied to administrative staff and another to front line staff.
Given this the General Secretary is instructed to write to Network Rail rejecting the contents of their letter of 30th March 2022 and to explain that we will take this up again with the Company as the contents of their letter are not representational of the consultation that took place when RMT met with them to discuss the CP009 Standard.
Additionally, the GS to issue a circular advising NWR members to invoke the worksafe procedure if they have any health and safety concerns.
Branches and Regional Councils to be advised accordingly.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions.
I take this opportunuity to remind Network Rail members of your rights under the company’s Worksafe Procedure and in legislation (Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, to remove yourself to a place of safety if you feel you are in serious and imminent danger) not to work if unsafe. RMT’s booklet on Serious and Imminent Danger can be viewed at https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/publications/serious-and-imminent-danger-booklet/
Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.