Significant near miss with track workers at Godalming
Issued to: All Network Rail line managers and Achilles registered contractors
Ref: NRB 15/16
Date of issue: 29/10/2015
Location: Godalming, Surrey
Contact: Glyn Lewis, Operations Risk Advisor Wessex
On Wednesday 23 September 2015 a significant near miss occurred involving a team working on the line at Godalming. This is one of a number of near misses that have occurred nationally over recent weeks.
The team of three were accessing their site of work and began to cross a limited clearance bridge. As the team were on the structure a train approached from behind them travelling at approximately 70mph.
The team managed to move out of the way of the train but it is believed that one member was as close as one metre from the train as it passed.
Initial investigation found that the access route to the planned site of work did not include crossing the bridge. Team members questioned the safety of doing so, but the COSS believed that it was a suitable alternative.
It was later identified that the Hazard Directory did not identify the bridge as having limited clearance. However there are limited clearance signs in place on the structure.
The system of work was not amended to cross the bridge.
While we are investigating the causes of this incident please discuss the following with your teams:
- If you felt that you or your team were about to do something unsafe how would you go about challenging the safe system of work?
- How would you use the worksafe procedure in similar circumstances?
- Where changes to a planned safe system are required what is the correct procedure to amend it?
- How would you correct errors in documents such as the hazard directory?
- Do you have the correct contact details to contact your Control Centre immediately after an event?
Copies of Safety Bulletins are available on Safety Central.