Our Ref: HSR/2/14
Head Office Circular: NP/34/20
24th February 2020
To: The Secretary
ALL REGIONAL COUNCILS
TRANS PENNINE EXPRESS- FIRE SAFETY AT CLEETHORPES STATION
South Humberside Branch submitted the following motion to the National Executive:
Cleethorpes Station has fire warning arrangements that are inadequate and unsafe. There is no fire alarm in place, just a word of mouth evacuation process. If a fire breaks out and no-one sees it, no one knows about it until it's too late. It is worth considering that pubs and a timber-framed fish and chip shop are attached to the building, and fires have broken out in these buildings previously.
The station staff and conductor accommodation is a labyrinth of rooms with very limited exits. The mess room has only one exit for five rooms, down a long corridor with no windows or any other means of escape, so if no-one is able to raise the alarm early enough staff could very easily become trapped in the messroom. During a previous fire drill this actually happened: a staff member was left in the union office having not heard the alarm being raised. Several years ago, Humberside Fire and Rescue conducted a visit of the premises and advised that an alternative exit be installed. This advice was ignored.
Since 2013 (as far as our records go back) the fire alarm inspection company, Chubb, has advised TransPennine Express to implement at least a manually activated fire alarm system in order to comply with modern regulations, but again TPE refused to take the advice on board.
Our Health and Safety Rep has exhausted all means available to him to demand that TPE update the arrangements. He has even attempted to discuss the matter directly with Chubb, but Chubb will only discuss the report with management. The local safety committee has also tried to resolve this issue, to no avail.
We believe our TPE members deserve better, and that TPE should face up to their responsibilities before a preventable tragedy occurs. This branch calls upon the General Secretary to organise an urgent meeting between the National Safety Officer and TPE management to address our concerns.
At its meeting on 18th February the NEC noted and adopted the following report from the Health and Safety Sub Committee:
We note with concern the resolution from South Humberside Branch. We instruct the General Secretary to take up the matter in line with the resolution and arrange a meeting between our Lead Officer and the company. The General Secretary is further instructed to raise our concerns with the OPP and the appropriate Fire Authority.
All Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep you informed of developments. Please make the contents of this Circular available to all appropriate members.