RMT launches direct challenge to rail safety body

RMT launches direct challenge to rail safety body

20 November 2017

RMT Press Office:

RMT launches direct challenge to rail safety body over passenger safety

RAIL UNION RMT today launched a direct challenge to the rail safety body, the RSSB, to fundamentally review it’s conflicted position on Driver Only Operation and the danger to passengers at the Platform Train Interface after the organisation was forced by weight of evidence to launch a public information campaign warning the travelling public of a the growing risk of trap and drag incidents – a situation which is clearly worsened by the plans to throw the safety-critical guards off the trains on a number of English franchises.
 
In a letter to the RSSB, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash says:
 
I am aware of RSSB’s press release detailing research on passenger perceptions of door alarms and the risks that are associated with incidents of this type including the most severe instances of trap and drag. As you will know RMT has particular concerns around these events in our current campaign to retain a second safety critical worker on-board trains.
 
The press report talks of 1515 incidents at the platform edge in the 2015/16 financial year and I believe this is an increase in incidents on past years although it is difficult to compare when most of your usual data is poorly presented. However, despite the level of risk and the enormous efforts put in by the industry to reduce risk at the Platform Train Interface you then appear to be washing your hands of the problem by asking passengers to change their behaviour rather than by ensuring enough staff are in place to control those risks.
 
RMT believes that there should be a fundamental re-assessment of the issue related to DOO dispatch which should look to incorporate actions of suitably trained and qualified personnel on both trains and stations. In-action in this matter on industry’s part will be to conclude it is because RSSB are funded by the employers.
 
 General Secretary Mick Cash said;
 
“Chris Grayling and his cheerleaders at the Rail Delivery Group are fond of pushing the claim that the industry-funded RSSB, and the safety regulator the ORR which is also heavily reliant on train company cash, are DOO fanatics but when you peel away the layers it becomes clear that there are deep-seated fears about what is really going on at train and platform level.
 
“The RSSB can’t have it both ways.  If they think that the only concern is public information rather than the operational model and the rampant de-staffing of the railway then they are simply ignoring their own evidence base which points to a growing danger of trap and drag.
 
“It’s about time both the RSSB and the ORR ignored the policy objectives of both their private funders and the Tory Government, showed some genuine independence and started putting the passenger first.  RMT has no intention of allowing them to turn a blind eye to the growing evidence that the proud safety record on Britain’s railways is being corroded in a toxic drive for fatter profits.”
 
ENDS
 

 
Mark Phillips
RSSB
The Helicon
One South Place
London
EC2M 2RB
 
Dear Mark
 
RSSB PTI RISKS
 
I am aware of RSSB’s press release detailing research on passenger perceptions of door alarms and the risks that are associated with incidents of this type including the most severe instances of trap and drag. As you will know RMT has particular concerns around these events in our current campaign to retain a second safety critical worker on-board trains.
 
The press report talks of 1515 incidents at the platform edge in the 2015/16 financial year and I believe this is an increase in incidents on past years although it is difficult to compare when most of your usual data is poorly presented. However, despite the level of risk and the enormous efforts put in by the industry to reduce risk at the Platform Train Interface you then appear to be washing your hands of the problem by asking passengers to change their behaviour rather than by ensuring enough staff are in place to control those risks.
 
RMT believes that there should be a fundamental re-assessment of the issue related to DOO dispatch which should look to incorporate actions of suitably trained and qualified personnel on both trains and stations. In-action in this matter on industry’s part will be to conclude it is because RSSB are funded by the employers.
 
I would be interested in meeting with you to discuss how best we can take the RMT’s concerns forward.
 
I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Mick Cash
General Secretary

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Tagged with: doo, driver only operation, platform train interface, pti, guards, conductors, southern rail, gtr, northern rail, arriva, abellio, greater anglia, merseyrail, south western railway, swr, first group