22 July 2014
RMT Press Office
Rail union RMT today called for an immediate halt to cuts to track, train and platform staffing numbers as the ORR 2013-14 Health and Safety Report, released today, showed a surge in injuries across the system as passenger numbers increase while staffing levels face savage cuts.
The report shows that:
“The trend in track workers being injured increased to its highest-level in seven years, with 79 workers suffering major injuries and 1,641 reported minor injuries. There were also three rail worker fatalities during the past year, subject to ORR’s on-going investigations.”
Death and injury to people at the platform/train interface has also increased.
“There were four fatalities and over 1,250 other platform related injuries in 2013-14. “
RMT Acting General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“These are shocking and shameful figures that show the full impact of cuts and fragmentation on our railways while passenger numbers continue to surge.
“RMT safety reps continue to report flagrant breaches of procedures and regulations as staff numbers are hacked to the bone, work is contracted out and casualised with corners cut in a desperate drive to try and keep services running against a backdrop of savage financial cuts.
“RMT is in no doubt that the catalogue of death and injuries on our railways, amongst both staff and passengers, will continue to increase unless this Government reverse the cuts programme laid out in their McNulty Rail Review. That document calls for massive staff cuts on track, trains and stations. On the back of today’s statistics those responsible for it should be hanging their heads in shame as they have blood on their hands.
“RMT is demanding an end to the cuts, the re-filling of staff posts already axed and an end to the casualised, contracting culture that is wrecking track safety.”