Head Office Circular: NP/309/20
Our Ref: HSR/2/15
21st December 2020
ALL REGIONAL COUNCILS
POSSESSION LIMITS CONTROL PROGRAMME (CAMDEN RAIB REC 3)
Further to Head Office Circular NP/261/20, 23rd October 2020, I have received a joint reply from the Chief Executives of Network Rail and RSSB. In their response they state:
“As you know, recommendation 3 requires us to ‘critically review the possession management process and, where appropriate, reduce the need for staff to be on the track for the purpose of taking or giving back a possession’. We fully recognise this is part our legal obligation to keep our workforce safe. In the two years since the tragic loss of a railway colleague at Stoats Nest, there have been 152 possession protection related operational close calls. This reinforces the industry’s need to undertake such a review.
If that review concludes that the current arrangements are safe, so far as is reasonably practicable, then they will remain in place. But, given the concerns highlighted above, it’s the right thing to do to thoroughly review the current arrangements so we can be confident that all identified risks are mitigated to as low a level as practical, which, as suggested by RAIB, requires us to consider ‘newly developed technologies’.”
This response was submitted to the National Executive Committee who noted and adopted the following report of their Health and Safety Sub-committee:
We note the joint response from Network Rail and RSSB and the offer to meet with Network Rail’s Director for Strategy and Operations. General Secretary is instructed to take up this invitation and a report of this meeting to be placed back in front of this National Executive Committee.
Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.
While the joint response gives us some reassurance I will be taking up the offer in the letter to meet with Network and will keep you informed of developments.