“Basically, it’s Weight Watchers with your mates at work,” explained Steve Featherstone, Network Rail’s track programme director, who is putting his weight behind a new health challenge launched in February.  His description of the project might be brief, but its potential impact is anything but.  A different type of enhancement programme Titled the Track Safety…
Topics included the effectiveness of mental health first aid, establishing credible benchmarks and rail’s occupational health struggle RSSB’s chief operating officer Johnny Schute began proceedings at its Annual Health and Wellbeing Conference in January....
Volunteers are being sought to help to tell the "sad and costly story" behind Britain’s railways by transcribing a historic railway trade union notebook from 1901-1905. Led by historian Mike Esbester, the project aims to encourage armchair historians to give up as...
Being tired was never really considered a cause of safety incidents - at best its role was underestimated. That was the view back in 2015 when RailStaff interviewed Network Rail’s lead on fatigue at a time when the organisation...
It was my privilege to open and host the 11th Rail Safety Summit on 1 November at the prestigious offices of Addleshaw Goddard in central London. I began by quoting from a report which now shows its age by...
Report by Niamh McMahon, health and wellbeing specialist, RSSB   At RSSB the topic of employee health and wellbeing in the rail industry is not a new one but it has gained increasing attention in the past few years. Employers in...
Photo: iStock.

Eye on safety

Eye protection worn by Network Rail staff must conform to the EN 166 standard. It is the basic requirement all safety glasses must meet and the first thing you should check before carrying out any work. The risks of not...
Records have shown that rail workers have equipped themselves with personal protective equipment (PPE) since the 19th century. As industry safety practices have been developed, so has the look and quality of protective clothing. In a booklet titled ‘The Safety...

Track Safety Alliance on tour

More delegates than ever before attended the latest Track Safety Alliance (TSA) conference in October, which was held away from Network Rail’s Westwood training centre for the first time. More than 200 delegates from Network Rail, its principal contractors and...

Safety Sword for Mark Carne

Former chief executive Mark Carne was presented with a ceremonial sword before leaving Network Rail in recognition of his contribution to improving its safety record. The award is one of five Safety Swords of Honour given to Infrastructure Projects (IP)...
Fabrice Muamba was one of the lucky ones. On 17 March, 2012, the former footballer collapsed on the field during a match. A cardiac arrest caused the 23-year-old’s heart to stop and for 78 minutes he was clinically dead. Each...
Between 8-9 September, the long-running industry sports event welcomed hundreds of competitors back to Loughborough to challenge rivals old and new for a RailSport medal. The 2018 competition was held at Loughborough Endowed Schools and featured eight different disciplines: five-a-side...
Working at height is a common scenario on worksites. It can include anything from using a ladder to working on a flat roof.  Anywhere where there’s the possibility of falling through a fragile surface or stumbling into a hole...
An open challenge has been launched to find and fund a solution to detect when a tram driver might be about to lose consciousness. Spearheaded by the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Trams, the Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) invites applicants to...
A former airport CEO is set to replace Stephen Glaister as the chair of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Declan Collier, who recently left London City Airport, has been chosen as the preferred candidate by transport secretary Chris Grayling. The Transport Select...
The ORR’s director of railway safety has said he fears there could be a disconnect between frontline staff and management if the industry doesn’t do more to support its employees. Announcing the publication of its annual health and safety performance...
Doubts about his fitness discouraged Martin Ward from ever attempting the long cycle to work. That was until a major fault to his car forced it out of action and forced him into the saddle. Martin, who is the head...
Rail companies have been urged to take action to reduce the number of deaths from work-related lung cancers. On World Lung Cancer Day, the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has called on businesses to help save lives by...
While the statistics show that working on the railway in 2018 is a far safer vocation than it was decades ago, staff still face many of the same risks. The very first Rail Safety Summit discussed the dangers of red...
BTP's specialist police medics in London were deployed on bikes for the first time over the weekend in a move to decrease their deployment time. The officers will now deploy on bikes during busy periods, such as during the night...
Oliver Marteaux, principal of horizon scanning at the RSSB, looks at wearable wellbeing.    RSSB, as part of the R&D cross-industry programme that it runs on the industry’s behalf, looks into emerging technologies and disruptive trends that are likely to have...
A rail worker has died following a fall from a ladder at Bearsden station. The incident happened shortly before 10am on June 5 in East Dunbartonshire, Greater Glasgow. British Transport Police (BTP) officers and paramedics from the Scottish Ambulance Service were called to...
The British Transport Police (BTP) has opened its first regional counter-terrorism unit as part of a "major uplift" in its counter-terrorism capabilities. BTP said the introduction of the unit at Birmingham New Street station is in response to the terrorist incidents that...
A new system that automatically applies the brakes should the speed limit be exceeded at high risk locations on London's Tramlink tram network could be installed by the end of 2019. The new safety measure is one of a number of changes...

West Coast appointments

Phil Whittingham remains as the managing director for services on what was formerly known as the InterCity West Coast franchise as he...

Christmas work