Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Workforce safety on Britain's mainline railway falls

The level of workforce harm on Britain’s mainline railway increased by 4% last year, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has reported.

The increase was largely driven by an increase in injuries among train drivers and on-board crew. There was one fatality. The ORR said the increase can also be explained by the improved reporting of minor injuries following its exposure of areas of inadequate safety reporting at Network Rail.

There was again a welcome downward trend in harm to infrastructure workers, says the ORR, who are generally at the highest risk on the railway. “Network Rail still has a long way to go in improving its safety culture, although they now have a plan in place, which we fully support,” it says. “Workforce safety remains one of our key priorities in all railway sectors.”

The ORR’s annual health and safety report 2011/12 provides an update on key health and safety issues facing Britain’s railways. This year’s report highlights a number of successes, including a 12% reduction in the level of passenger harm to the lowest level ever recorded and London Underground, Overground and Docklands Light Railway all achieving a year without any workforce and industry caused passenger fatalities. Level crossing safety also improved, as levels of recorded harm reduced by 15% over the past year, maintaining historically low rates.

The report does highlight areas of concern however, including a delay in vital maintenance work.

“While Network Rail is ensuring Britain’s railways are safely maintained, we have also seen an increasing backlog of work, as some parts of Network Rail’s maintenance organisation appear to be under-resourced,” says the report. “Network Rail has responded to this issue by committing additional resources, which ORR will be monitoring throughout 2012/13.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs