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The Shield






ISSUE 22, MARCH 2019

BACK to Work Briefings helped ensure there were no nasty surprises for workers returning to sites across the Southern region in the new year. While many were out on site delivering vital work over the holiday period, many more benefitted from the briefing packs specially designed to refamiliarise workers with specific hazards after a period away. The Shield visited Little Browns Cutting in Kent, to see the Back to Work Briefings in action. Full story on pages 4 and 5


Safe Sussex

Holiday highlights









It’s a strap!

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Since I took over as the Regional Director at the end of last year, I have met some amazing people working on the railway in our region. With the pressure on during the Christmas and New Year period, you delivered on time

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and without compromising safety. This was followed by the Back to Work Briefings which helped those who had been away to move safely back into the working routine. As a result, our traditional postholiday accident spike did not happen this year so a big thank you to everyone who organised, delivered and took part in these briefings. The people featured in this edition of The Shield also have one thing in common – they are all passionate about safety. We know

that there are a lot of risks out on the railway and we all need to look out for each other and be intolerant of safety issues whenever we see them. Everyone who ‘Feels Safe to Ask’, calls a Time Out or raises a Close Call may, without ever knowing it, have prevented a workmate from getting injured. That’s got to be worthwhile.

TAKE FIVE RESOLVES POOR PLANNING STOPPING work to prevent poor practice is a vital part of getting everyone home safe every day. That’s what Eddie Folan did when he spotted the wrong access being used for a work site in Homerton in East London. The team was due to carry out work to strengthen a retaining bank alongside the track when Eddie discovered members of the crew were using small ladders to scale a wall to reach the site. Realising this was unsafe, Eddie, who works for Murphy, called a Time Out Take Five to check the paperwork for the suggested access point. “We found that the listed access was via Hackney Wick but this was also incorrect,” said Eddie. “It would have involved passing through a limited clear-

ance bridge, putting us too close to the open line.” There were similar issues with access from Homerton station further along the line, so Eddie discussed an alternative solution with Network Rail. Within a few hours a scaffold platform was erected, enabling the team to access the site safely and continue the work. “The checks showed that the work hadn’t been properly planned,” added Eddie. “The access hadn’t been scoped correctly which put people at risk. In that situation the right thing to do is to stop work and make sure things are put right.” Eddie’s actions have been highlighted as a prime example of how to use a Time Out Take Five.


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“The most important thing I have learned is that it is okay to question safety and not be afraid to challenge anyone we think maybe acting in an unsafe way. We are encouraged to question if things are being carried out in a safe manner or not. “There is nothing so important that the time can’t be taken for it to be done properly. “If we need to spend time questioning whether a task can be done more safely, then we should. It’s not always about the cost but the value – and the value of doing things safely is priceless. “If we see bad habits, then

THANKS – A MILLION AN UPGRADE to the Sussex network has been completed successfully and with a million hours accidentfree. The project’s aim was to enhance the power supply to enable more trains on the track and limit the amount of disruption during the roll-out of a new timetable. The works were completed successfully in December 2018 and Project Manager Louiza Provins puts it down to teamwork and everyone pulling together. “There were three contractors on site and we all worked together closely and efficiently,” said Louiza. “This was a big project across the south of England and it means that more frequent and longer trains can run along the network, so it was important that we delivered it safely and efficiently. “The upgrade has also made the network more resilient – which will result in fewer faults like cables burning out.” The variety in the scope of work across a large geographical area made it a challenge and the substation work was incredibly complex. It was split into five work packages

we all have the ability, tools and empowerment to question them and make them right.” Hayden Woods, Assistant Quantity Surveyor at Osborne


covering feeders, new sub-stations, sub-station upgrades, DC circuit breaker upgrades and ETE (electrical track equipment). The project’s safety performance was notable: it achieved 1.2 million hours without a lost-time incident. “As the hours increased everyone on site became more and more motivated and focused on reaching this fantastic milestone,” said Louiza. “We were all working towards the same goal and thinking cleverly about safety at all times.” One of the main safety challenges on this project was creating a safe way to reach the hook switch to isolate the track. “We built new cabinets to stop people having to go on the track to reach the switch, and built safe pathways to those cabinets. Now a track can be safely isolated without someone on it. “We built new track disconnectors (TDs) to eliminate the requirement to go on the track to operate a hook switch.Along with this, we created safe pathways and access gates to the TDs. This means that an isolation can now be taken in these areas without anyone having to access the track.”


HAPPY HOLIDAYS Festive period delivers safety and performance

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THE SOUTHERN region enjoyed a happy new year as 2019 began with the safe and successful delivery of our programme of works over the holiday period.

All of our critical worksites were handed back on time and there were no reported injuries. Work over the festive period saw several key projects across IP Southern, which will improve the network and benefit railway users. On the Felixstowe Capacity Enhancement, the installation of two switches and crossings units, one turnout and the renewal of the 650V power supply was successfully completed. This was a milestone on the journey towards increased freight capacity on the line serving one of Britain’s important cargo ports. In the Forest Gate area of London the GE OLE project successfully replaced 11 wire runs as well as overhead line structure installation between Maryland and Goodmayes. The auto tensioned wires installed will improve train performance on a key commuter route. The Upper Kennington Lane project in south London successfully removed the existing wheel timbers and installed a steel deck and a ballasted track system. This work will help to strengthen the bridge at Vauxhall station, improving reliability and performance of services. In total work was carried out at 116 on-track and 34 off-track sites across the region over the Christmas and New Year period, with no injuries reported.


Some careful lifting was involved as an old footbridge at Fishergate station was replaced with a brand-new structure. The old bridge was removed during a possession of the railway. Prior to the this, riveted connections were removed and replaced with temporary ones. During the possession, the bridge sections were removed using an RRV crane and transported to Hove station, where they were loaded on to awaiting lorries.

KEEPING WATCH WHILE OTHERS were opening presents and tucking into turkey, Network Rail Construction Manager Stephen Richards was one of many working on Christmas Day. He was alongside a team from BCM installing cable management sleepers in Streatham, south London. “Construction Managers are there to ensure that the safe operation of the railway isn’t compromised,” said Stephen. “For example, if it looks like a job is going to over-run, we have the power to stop the work to

ensure a possession is handed back on time. I’ll have a copy of their plan and make sure they stick to it. It’s important to have good relationship with the contractor’s Site Manager. “We also help resolve any issues that might delay the work. For example, on Christmas Day, access was required to one of the CTS cabinets, however the person with the keys had finished their shift. “There are strict rules about contacting people outside their hours, so I had to make a number of calls to explain why it was important to make contact

with the member of staff and collect the keys.” Construction Managers also monitor site safety behaviours. “You can have the all the right PPE but if you are not behaving correctly that’s when things can go wrong,” said Stephen. “It also makes you question what else is not being done Stephen Richards properly. “At another job recently, I went to a site expecting it to be empty and found a contractor working there – using a piling rig close to an open line. “This work should have been done under possession, but they had used the paperwork for

one job to carry out the work in another. I called a stop to it and when I questioned further, they also had no welfare facilities on site.” Despite this example Stephen feels there has been a massive improvement in safety during his 18 years working on the railway. “There is much more education about safety these days,” he added. “And schemes like Route to Gold really help people create a sense of pride in their site.”

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IT’S GOOD T While plenty of railway workers were out on site over Christmas and New Year, for others returning to their sites after a break, extra vigilance was required BACK to Work Briefings were given to workers returning in early January. The aim of the briefings is to remind everyone about a site’s hazards and to keep everyone aware of any changes that might have taken place over the holiday period. The Shield visited Little Browns Cutting near Edenbridge, Kent, to see the team receive their briefing and get back to work. The team gathered in the rec room at the site, where Section Engineer Ross Berry went through the slides and delivered the briefing.

“The team received their Back to Work Briefing as a group, while individual task briefings were given out on site,” said Ross. “It meant everyone could go back to work aware of any changes to the site and were reminded to keep an eye out for any hazards and to report them straight away.” These reminders ranged from slip and trip risks on pathways to newly introduced on-site machinery. The team at Edenbridge is carrying out repairs to the banks either side of the track. After several large slips, Network Rail decided the banks needed to be cleared of their vegetation, dug back away from the tracks and then nailed to keep them in place. Around 19,000 tonnes of earth will be excavated from the banks when the work is complete. There are a number of health and safety risks at the site, including the moving of heavy long-arm diggers and traffic. The work is being carried out by BAM and the team are working inside an exclusion zone, while the track has remained live. There are also contractors on site abseiling down

the banks to secure six-foot nails into the earth. The Back to Work Briefings also highlighted 2017/2018’s end-of-year safety performance, which featured a record low Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of 1.182 for IP Southern. Winter 2018 saw a reduction in accidents on the previous year – from 29 in 2017 to 16 in 2018. Of course, while safety performance continues the challenge of getting everyone home safe every day remains, making initiatives like Back to Work Briefings hugely important.

Always speak up if you are un



nsure or if you have a concern

JOE THOMAS, ROPE ACCESS OPERATIVE, CAN “My role is tightening the bolts that go on the plates to hold the nails in the bank. The main risk here is having to abseil down the bank on ropes, which means there’s a risk of slips or falls. We all have briefings on health and safety every morning and that helps us all stay alert and aware of what the potential risks are. I think looking out for each other is key to safety on site. This helps us all stay safe.”

LEON HARTLEY, GANGER, KEOGH “I do general ground work and maintaining the site, so plant movement and heavy machinery are the risks involved in my day-to-day work. We have restricted zones on this site and everyone’s reminded about these at Back to Work Briefings. Only certain people can go into certain zones and this stops anyone from wandering into a dangerous situation by accident .”

WILL LARKIN, GATEMAN/OPERATIVE, PAINES “Site traffic is my main health and safety consideration.We have a lot of heavy goods vehicles and muck-away wagons coming in and out of the site throughout the day. My safety measures involve making a vehicle stop before walking anywhere and ensuring the driver can see me. I had the Back to Work Briefing when I came back from Christmas, which was important because it helped remind me of the possible risks involved on this site.”

COLIN CONROY, GANGER, KEOGH “Slips, trips and falls are risks in my job as a groundsman.Working close to moving plant is always dangerous but briefings help us keep aware of the dangers. Experience also helps. I’ve been doing this for years, so I know what to look out for! Good communication is key to keeping everyone safe. People on site are particularly good at listening and acting on issues that are reported to them.”





IT SHOULDN’T come as a shock but electricity related incidents were the third highest cause of RIDDOR accidents across Control Period 5 in IP Southern. More critically, they have the greatest potential for fatality of any accident type. There were several electrical ‘flashover’ incidents during this period which resulted in serious injury and, while electrical incidents like these are relatively uncommon, they remain one of IP Southern’s highest risk areas. And serious accidents such as the recent one at Godinton substation in Kent highlight the need for continued focus. At Godinton, there was a release of electrical energy (a flashover) when a member of staff attempted to replace a blown fuse. It caused severe burns to the colleague who required treatment at a specialist burns unit, as well as causing significant fire damage to the substation. An investigation into the accident is in progress but it was a clear reminder

to everyone about the importance of following the Lifesaving Rules as well as all safety protocols. Southern Shield meanwhile continues to work on enhancing electrical safety measures. The recent incidents have highlighted the need to wear Arc Flash rated PPE in sub-stations and the Southern Shield Charter has been updated to reflect this. You can see the full details under the Charter’s PPE section in Appendix I at The DC Isolation Strapping Protocol (Appendix D of the Southern Shield Charter) defines the process for: l Planning isolation activities with respect to strapping l On the day/night implementation protocols l Equipment, PPE and competency requirements for strapping teams. In addition, the illustrated DC Isolations Strapping Guide (right) gives a detailed description of the safety procedures required.

WORKING WITH ELECTRICITY Always test before applying earths or straps.

Never assume equipment is isolated – always test before touch.


Not following the electrical safety rules could have fatal consequences

Additional checks have been introduced by BAM to tighten procedures around the placing and removing of earthing straps. These aim to address instances where strapping teams have either been located in the wrong place, left straps on site or been located on open adjacent lines.

New checks include:

l Ensuring that all strapping teams attend site and get a

face-to-face briefing by the Safe Work Leader (SWL). l Separate recording of strapmen signing in and then signing out after placing straps, better enabling the SWL to check attendance and safe return l Additional checks on PPE and tools l A green cable tie with a reference number attached to each of the straps, only for removal by SWL on completion of last shift l Where adjacent lines may be open the SWL should determine if additional measures or supervision is needed.

Matt Gray

Matt Gray, a Safe Work Leader for BAM said: “It’s most important that the railway is handed back in a safe condition and that everyone working on site gets home safe. “These checks help ensure that this happens and they give the SWLs confidence that everything is being carried out according to the correct procedures.”

Never assume equipment isolated –page always RAILisLIVES– 8 test before touch





1. As the Safe Work Leader (SWL),

3. Check that all the equipment

Check that the SWP covers from the access point to the strapping location.

4. Before going to the strapping

Use the following to confirm that you are in the correct location:

confirm that you have received and verified the Safe Work Pack (SWP) a minimum of one shift before work starts (pack to include strap layout diagram).

2. Check that you have the

required equipment and PPE to undertake your role.

is in good condition.

location you must receive a face to face briefing from the SWL.

5. Check that you know where the strapping access point is and where the strapping points are relative to the access point. If not sure – ask the SWL to show you.




Before going on or near the line – confirm you have been briefed.

Using a wire brush, clean the underside of the two running rails where the clamps are to be fixed.


a) Access point signage b) SWP (principal source of information) c) Sectional Appendix and track diagrams d) Mileage posts and chainage markers e) Use a smartphone app (such as Omnicom) but only as a check (remember GPS is not always accurate). Check you are wearing the correct PPE (gauntlets, safety goggles, safety helmet, safety boots and flame retardant overalls).


Check the condition of your PPE and equipment.



Fix strap to running rail FURTHEST from conductor rail and tighten securely.


With the Short Circuiting Bar still in position, wire brush the underside of the conductor rail.

Test that the conductor rail is NOT live using the Live Line Tester. (Immediately check the Live Line Tester on the Proving Unit again afterwards).

8 Before testing the conductor rail check the Live Line Tester is working correctly using the Proving Unit.


Fix strap to running rail CLOSEST to conductor rail and tighten securely.



Insert the Short Circuiting Bar, shout a warning and swiftly push down to apply (stand with your back to the conductor rail and look away).




With the Short Circuiting Bar still in position, push strap under the running rail and conductor rail and secure tightly to the conductor rail.

Always test before applying earths or straps

Check that all clamps are secured tightly and that the strap is not creating a trip hazard. Remove the Short Circuiting Bar, pick up the equipment and exit the site using SWP.




Personal Protective Equipment Guide It is mandatory to wear the personal protective equipment (PPE) shown as a minimum while undertaking work or visiting sites within IP Southern. However, risk assessments must be carried out to determine whether different or additional PPE is required to offer more suitable protection for the task and environment. You must ensure you know how to wear your PPE correctly and that it is suitable for you, the task and the environment.

Do you have the right PPE for the task? Eye Protection Eye protection must be worn while on site and be suitable for the task. Task specific protection includes goggles for impact tasks, goggles with alkali lenses for contact with solvents, and anti-mist and anti-scratch lenses for general use. Prescription eye protection is also available.

Eye protection as appropriate for the task (e.g. glasses, goggles, visors and face shields)

High visibility orange upper body clothing (long sleeves are preferable to protect skin) with reflective tape

Safety helmet A chinstrap may be required if there is a risk from the helmet falling off, such as working at height or in high winds

Hand protection appropriate to the task (the minimum standard is Cut 5 gloves)

Clothing You are required to wear high visibility orange PPE; including jackets, vests, t-shirts and trousers. Upper body clothing must have your Sponsor’s logo on the back. The Southern Shield Charter also mandates the following minimum level of protective clothing: • Protective clothing (as a minimum to EN ISO 11612) must be worn when undertaking strapping duties as the COSS/SWL or Strapping Operative. • Protective clothing (as a minimum to EN ISO 11612) which is also Arc Flash (EA) rated (as a minimum to IEC 61482-2), plus cotton or flame-retardant undergarments must be worn in traction and high-voltage non-traction distribution locations.

High visibility orange lower, full length clothing

Footwear supporting the ankle with a protective toecap and mid-sole protection

Safety Helmet A safety helmet must be worn at all times when trackside or on construction sites. Safety helmets should be adjusted to fit properly and should be replaced in accordance with manufacturer’s guidance. Only purpose made liners are permitted to be worn under safety helmets.

Hand & Arm Protection As a minimum, you are required to wear Cut 5 gloves on our sites. This does not preclude task specific gloves being worn as identified in the risk assessment. For example, rubber gauntlets must be worn when strapping.

Footwear Boots must have steel or composite toecaps and support your ankles; rigger boots are not permitted. The boots must also have a composite or steel mid-sole. You must replace your boots if the steel toecap becomes exposed. Specific boots may be required for certain tasks and should be identified during a risk assessment.

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WM031533 PPE A2 POSTER v3.indd 1

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The Shield March 2019  

The Shield March 2019