RAIB urgent safety advice (USA)

Our Ref: HSR/2/22
Head Office Circular: NP/184/16
8th July 2016

The Secretary

Dear Colleague

Further to Head Office Circular NP/243/15, 4th December 2015 RAIB have now issued their final report into the incident. The RAIB’s full report is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535352/R122016_160630_Hayes_and_Harlington.pdf

As a result of our concerns regarding the advice given to train driver members of the RMT in the earlier Circular I have written to the Train Operating Companies where there are RMT members demanding a meeting to discuss and agree methods of working. In that letter RMT state:

“I write in support of a letter to your company from ASLEF dated 5th July 2016 on the RAIB USA, following a passenger accident at Hayes & Harlington station which took place on 25 July 2015.

In the USA, advice was issued to:

“Train Operators and Trades Unions representing train drivers to remind train drivers operating DOO(P) trains that where they have responsibility for dispatching the train from a station, it is imperative that they perform a thorough final safety check after door interlock has been obtained and do not place sole reliance on the illumination of the door interlock light before driving the train out of the station. If, having performed the final safety check, they are not satisfied that it is safe to move the train, they should implement their own company’s procedures for dealing with such a situation.”

RAIB have also commented, in correspondence between themselves and ASLEF that:

“We hope that the report and the Urgent Safety Advice make clear that the driver cannot rely on the door interlock as an indication that it is safe to proceed and that a comprehensive final safety check as required by the Rule Book is always necessary after interlock has been obtained”.

This being the case, RMT is minded to inform all our members working DOO (P) services that a “comprehensive final safety check” be undertaken before proceeding.

RMT believes that this “comprehensive final safety check” should be that the driver physically leaves the cab and checks each door before departure.

This will have a huge impact on dwell times, so I therefore support the call for an urgent meeting to be arranged between all TOCs who operate DOO (P) services, RMT and ASLEF to discuss this matter.

We have informed ORR of this, in light of the response from the RAIB.”

These will be important discussions with the TOCs and I will keep you informed of developments.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary