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Lifesaving Rules launched

Network Rail is training everyone who works for it to understand and comply with its 11 new ‘Lifesaving Rules’, intended as a simple and memorable framework to underpin the organisation’s new safety vision, which sees more trust placed in employees, reports Kate Ashley.


etwork Rail’s new Lifesaving Rules focus on six different areas, and were chosen based on circumstances where lives are most at risk.

They were inspired by real-life incidents from a range of areas over the past six years, including working at height, which saw 39 major RIDDORs; using machinery; working with electricity, which saw 775 personal accidents and incidents; and driving.

Guidance on how to deal with breaches of the rules was launched from October 1 alongside a clear, agreed system to reward positive actions and reinforce the rules.

The Lifesaving Rules are designed to improve safety culture and protect everyone who works on or near the railway, reducing risk and addressing human issues such as fear, complacency and a lack of trust.

The 11 rules are:

Contact with trains Always have a valid safe system of work in place before going on or near the line.

Working with moving equipment Never enter the agreed exclusion zone, unless directed to by the person in charge.

Working with electricity Always have a valid permit to work where required.

Always test before applying earths. Never assume equipment is isolated – always test before touch.

Driving Always wear a seat belt while in a moving vehicle and always obey the speed limit. Never use a hand-held device or programme any

New training

scheme for women in the rail industry

Government funding has been secured to provide rail employers with training and mentoring for women working in their businesses.

The money was awarded through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ Employer Investment Fund to Women 1st.

In the rail industry, just 23% of management positions are held by women, while just 2% of train drivers and virtually no rail construction and maintenance operatives are female. The funding will help Women 1st to develop a new pre-employment training programme to attract women into non-traditional roles and address the lack of women in the industry. Women will also be able to take part in ‘Step Up’ management training at a signifi cant discount.

Women 1st founder, Sharon Glancy, said: “Research points to the fact that leadership teams with a good balance of men and women perform better.

“A recent report from Catalyst showed that companies with women on their boards outperformed those with all-male boards by 26% in recent years.

Managers are instructed to fi nd and tackle the root cause of any rule-breaking ahead of taking disciplinary measures.

They are meant to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for safety and that everyone is treated fairly if they highlight work which could break a Lifesaving Rule.

Network Rail suggests that 90% of breaches are honest mistakes, due to human error, slips or situational breach, compared to just 10% which are deliberate. The appropriate action for each breach will depend upon the circumstances and the individual’s motivations.

The rules were developed following a consultation with over 1,300 Network Rail staff, as well as contractors and unions.

24 | rail technology magazine Dec/Jan 13

hands-free device while you are driving a road vehicle.

Taking responsibility Never undertake an activity unless you have been trained, assessed as competent and have the right equipment. Never drive or work while under the infl uence of drugs or alcohol.

Working at height Unless it is clear other protection is in place, never work at height without a safety harness Always use equipment for working at heights that is fi t for purpose.


Visit Information-Centre/Lifesaving-Rules

“And with the EU threatening to introduce quotas for women on boards, it’s an issue that businesses can no longer afford to ignore. We understand that achieving this balance is not easy for industries like rail which, despite offering a wealth of fantastic opportunities, is not always seen as a traditional career choice for women.

“We also recognise that it’s impossible to make change at the top without fi rst addressing the issues that rail companies face in fi rst attracting women into non- traditional roles, and then enabling them to progress through the industry.

“We’re delighted to have secured this funding to help employers on this journey. We look

forward to bringing

Women 1st’s experience and expertise to the rail industry, and have worked closely with businesses to make sure that our programmes will give women the skills they need to build a successful rail career.”

© A&T

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