Network Rail Safety Bulletin: Near Miss
A serious incident has taken place

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

Overview

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.

Discussion Points

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.

Back to News

What do our trainees think

PTS Practical Event, Warrington

The trainer had a very thorough knowledge of the subject matter, and was able to back that up with relevant real life examples. Craig was flexible in his approach and willing to go deeper into particular areas if required to ensure understanding. The facilities are good, and the indoor track training area is particularly impressive.

Martin Smith, Carillion Construction Ltd
OLEC 2, Doncaster

Very well constructed and delivered, outstanding performance on the trainer's part, both in the classroom and out on the track. I would recommend Archie McNeill to anyone who wishes to learn about overheads - a terrific experience.

Zain Ahmad, Coyle
DCCR Initial, Crayford

Lee had an excellent practical and pragmatic approach towards training. I found him to be very knowledgeable, but more importantly he has fantastic knowledge transfer skills.

Umair Khan, Siemens Rail Automation
COSS Initial, Doncaster

I enjoyed the course, it was delivered to a high standard. Kev is an excellent trainer, he is informative and has a great sense of humour. His method of teaching was simplified and thorough - Great!

Thomas Smith, Amey Group Services Ltd
COSS Initial, Warrington

Very well run course, professionally presented. Good reminder of duties and responsibilities.

Mark Harris, ABC Electrification
COSS Initial, Enfield

Vic was a fantastic trainer, his knowledge of the industry is vast and his delivery was second to none. A great course and trainer - thanks!

Douglas Aitken, Balfour Beatty Rail Limited