Walking On Ballast

Our Ref: HSR/1/8
Head Office Circular: NP/172/14
2nd September 2014

The Secretary

Dear Colleague

Walking On Ballast

Further to Head Office Circular NP/014/14 Edinburgh No.1 Branch submitted the following resolution to the General Grades Committee:

This branch calls upon the General Grades Committee to reissue a more detailed questionnaire in relation to the ballast conditions on the infrastructure when members are performing their duties.

    We ask that the following questions be added:

•    Name, grade, location, ballast condition in DU
•    How many miles per shift or 140 hrs per month do you walk over ballast
•    Do you suffer from aches, pains, soreness please indicate on body where feet, legs, hips, back
•    Have you complained to management, if so when?
•    Have you attended a doctor/hospital
•    Has your safety rep raised the ballast condition in the 4ft
•    Can you supply photo evidence and location and give track ID

(Executive to decide further questions to be added)

    The previous questionnaire issued in January/February issue of the RMT News took 21 months to produce and this branch believes that it does not seek the right information as injuries received develop over months, years and the original resolution back in 2011 (which became AGM policy) sought to gather information to see have a contributing factor to our members’ health conditions where many were coming down with various musculoskeletal disorders.

    Furthermore the questionnaire and the ballast problem to be highlighted on the union’s website, RMT News and circulars to branches plus an electronic copy be sent to each area council representative for them to distribute within their delivery units/routes to the members they represent when the questionnaires are collected back in they should be returned to the General Secretary in a supplied addressed envelope and paid postage with the heading Ballast Survey, all the  information gathered is to be examined by the Executive and advice sought of a medical specialist who practices in health issues that may arise by walking over ballast for a prolonged period, branches to be kept informed of the progress of this resolution every 3 months.”

On giving consideration to the Resolution the General Grades Committee noted and adopted the following report of their Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the    resolution from Edinburgh No.1 Branch. Having considered the Branch’s resolution we believe the General Secretary has complied with the original AGM resolution. We instruct the General Secretary to prepare an analysis of the survey returns to be presented to this General Grades Committee for further consideration. Further we instruct the General Secretary to prepare a report on ways and means of best conducting surveys of the membership in the future.
Branches and Regional Councils be advised

I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep you informed of developments with this case.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
Acting General Secretary