Our ref: HSR/2/29
Head Office Circular: NP/204/22
16th September 2022
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Further to Head Office Circular NP/104/21, dated 1st April 2021, Network Rail recently wrote to me about the trial of Alternative Possession Limits, providing me with a more detailed information paper.

The risk assessment work (based on RSSB T1155) confirms that the placing of Possession Limit Boards (PLBs) and Detonators (Dets) presents significant risk to front-line workers.

I have been provided with a copy of the risk assessment.

The research to identify potential solutions to improve the risks associated with the taking and handing back of possessions has shown that the company should develop the use of signal protection with alternative additional protection to replace the current activity of placing protection limit boards and detonators.

The development of documentation for review by the Safety Review Panel (SRP), Traffic Operation and Management Standards Committee (TOM SC) and Network Rail Assurance Panel (NRAP) to enable trial activities within the East Coast Route (initially between Newcastle and the Scottish Boundary) has been commenced.

The company has told me it would appreciate the support from my nominated trade union representatives.

At its meeting on 15th September your NEC noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety sub-committee:

We note the correspondence from Network Rail. In connection with this the General Secretary is instructed to write to the Company providing names of RMT Reps to participate in the trail; appropriate Lead Reps to be provided with a copy of the company’s Risk Assessment for consideration and comment prior to their participation.

Relevant Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.

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