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Author Topic: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019  (Read 12948 times)
stuving
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« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2019, 09:30:25 am »

But I can't find it on the Network Rail website, nor though search engines.   Have Network Rail published this as in "made it public readable" (and if so, where?) or have they sent out copies to selected outlets?   Has anyone got either a URL or a copy of the source document??

I assumed NR had "published" it in the sense of giving it, and more likely presenting it, to invited journalists. That's still pretty common for all kinds of organisation; sometimes followed by being put on line, sometimes not. It's not easy to see on NR's web site whether they have anywhere to put such publications - they certainly don't like providing links to help you find find such specific items.
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« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2019, 09:38:09 am »

A bit more detail here: https://www.railengineer.co.uk/2019/09/30/interim-report-on-port-talbot-track-worker-fatalities-reveals-there-was-no-safe-system-of-work-in-place/
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grahame
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« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2019, 03:54:20 pm »

But I can't find it on the Network Rail website, nor though search engines.   Have Network Rail published this as in "made it public readable" (and if so, where?) or have they sent out copies to selected outlets?   Has anyone got either a URL or a copy of the source document??

I assumed NR had "published" it in the sense of giving it, and more likely presenting it, to invited journalists. That's still pretty common for all kinds of organisation; sometimes followed by being put on line, sometimes not. It's not easy to see on NR's web site whether they have anywhere to put such publications - they certainly don't like providing links to help you find find such specific items.

As there was so much reporting of a "published" document, I asked Network Rail for a link or copy.  Their response:

Quote
Dear Mr Ellis,
 
Thank you for contacting us about the interim report that was shared with Network Rail colleagues this week about the tragic events of Margam. We are aware of a number of media outlets reporting on this but wish to express that this report is only the initial stage of the investigation and once the final report has been concluded, we will be sharing the findings with not only our colleagues but with the concerned public.
 
The final report is expected to be concluded within the coming months.
 
Kind Regards,
 
Community Relations

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« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2019, 09:00:54 am »

As there was so much reporting of a "published" document, I asked Network Rail for a link or copy.  Their response:
Quote
Dear Mr Ellis,
 
Thank you for contacting us about the interim report that was shared with Network Rail colleagues this week about the tragic events of Margam. We are aware of a number of media outlets reporting on this but wish to express that this report is only the initial stage of the investigation and once the final report has been concluded, we will be sharing the findings with not only our colleagues but with the concerned public.
 
The final report is expected to be concluded within the coming months.
 
Kind Regards,
 
Community Relations

I am now better informed on the interim investigations - finding out in detail what went wrong and crucially making sure that lessons are learned to ensure they don't happen again.   Good to report that such lessons, and briefings, are very much in progress (or have happened already) even prior to the full report.   Critical is that safety is paramount and planned and that it's not just down to good fortune that these are exceptionally rare occurrences.
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« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2019, 02:42:30 pm »

From The BBC

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Families of two rail workers who died after being hit by a train have said every day is "a living nightmare".

They want changes in rail line working conditions after Gareth Delbridge, 64, and Michael "Spike" Lewis, 58, were killed by a passenger train on 3 July near Margam in Port Talbot.

Mr Delbridge's son-in-law Adrian Grant said the families were awaiting the conclusions of three inquiries.

An initial report said there was "no safe system in place".

Early investigations found Mr Delbridge, from Kenfig Hill, Bridgend, and Mr Lewis, from nearby North Cornelly, had been using a tool with a petrol engine and wearing ear defenders, meaning they did not hear the train, which was travelling from Swansea to London Paddington.

A third worker was treated for shock but was not injured.

I recommend that forum members read the full article which is much longer than the quote above.  It clearly draws from the interim report mentioned above, and from which key parties have already been briefed to ensure that the systemic failures which have already been identified are dealt with such that this "cannot happen again".
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« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2019, 03:03:17 pm »

RAIB have released an interim report. I guess this covers much the same narrative information as the network Rail one did. The preliminary conclusions are:
Quote
60 The accident occurred because the three track workers were working on a line that was open to traffic, and without the presence of formally appointed lookouts to warn them of approaching trains. All three workers were almost certainly wearing ear defenders, because TW3 was using a noisy power tool, as instructed. All three were focused on the task they were undertaking. None of them was aware that a train was approaching them, until it was too late to move to a position of safety.

61 Working on an open line without a formally appointed lookout meant that no single individual stood apart from the work activity at the points with the sole responsibility of providing a warning when trains approached. The absence of a lookout with no involvement in the work activity removed a vital safety barrier.

62 The planning paperwork for the work on 9577B points indicated that the work was to start at 12:30 hrs, to coincide with the planned blockage of the up main line. However, witness evidence suggests that there was a widespread belief at the local maintenance depot that there was no need to wait for the planned line blockage in the afternoon, and a general lack of understanding as to how the planning paperwork should be interpreted.

63 The system of work that the COSS had proposed to implement before the work began was not adopted, and the alternative arrangements became progressively less safe as the work proceeded that morning.

64 These factors had created conditions that made an accident much more likely.
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« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2020, 11:16:58 am »

A further incident with workers on a live line not being (properly) alerted to an approaching train. Fortunately in this case, the track workers concerned were alerted by the train's horn and able to jump clear.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-52270656

Quote
A train travelling at 125mph almost struck three track workers after a breakdown in communications, rail accident investigators have concluded.

The workers jumped clear less than one second before the train passed them on the West Coast main line in November.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch report said one of the lookouts had not known he was meant to raise the alarm.

It said the lookout team had used "informal language" rather than following the proper protocols.

A radio-based lookout-operated warning system was being used because of the high train speeds and the curved track south of Kirtlebridge in Dumfries and Galloway.

I will leave the experts to draw appropriate parallels between Margam and Kirtlebridge - but I am posting the above in the "Margam thread" as a reminder of the critical importance of getting systems right for every situation where there is work on the track.
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« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2020, 07:04:10 am »

A further incident with workers on a live line not being (properly) alerted to an approaching train. Fortunately in this case, the track workers concerned were alerted by the train's horn and able to jump clear.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-52270656

Quote
A train travelling at 125mph almost struck three track workers after a breakdown in communications, rail accident investigators have concluded.

The workers jumped clear less than one second before the train passed them on the West Coast main line in November.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch report said one of the lookouts had not known he was meant to raise the alarm.

It said the lookout team had used "informal language" rather than following the proper protocols.

A radio-based lookout-operated warning system was being used because of the high train speeds and the curved track south of Kirtlebridge in Dumfries and Galloway.

I will leave the experts to draw appropriate parallels between Margam and Kirtlebridge - but I am posting the above in the "Margam thread" as a reminder of the critical importance of getting systems right for every situation where there is work on the track.

These are my personal thoughts; what in the industry is called Red Zone Working (ie undertaking work on open lines or within 2m) could well be prohibited.
I feel initially this prohibition will be for anywhere any of the lines has a line speed is over 60mph.   This would mean any work would require a possession of the line or ESR to carry out work.
I also feel if NR does not introduce this its self the ORR will impose it under its Health and Safety at Work Act powers
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« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2020, 08:26:18 am »

ET. Personally, speaking from the point of view of having worked lineside for over 50-years now, is that fundamental problem won't be addressed.  That is, too much paperwork to fill in and too much to read and brief out before going lineside.  Peoples natural tendency is that if it gets too complex they will take short cuts, as the 'its too difficult' syndrome cuts in.  I'm not prejudging this was the case in the latest incident, but from the initial RAIB notice of investigation it certainly looks that way.

If you move to RED ZONE working only that will make the situation even worse, and it will probably be impossible to implement.  We might as well give up running trains altogether if that happens.  Working on a live railway always has been, and always will be a hazardous process, and you cannot eliminate all Risk.

So my messge is: Make it all simpler and straightforward for people to implement, not more complex.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 10:43:38 am by SandTEngineer » Logged
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« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2020, 01:08:11 pm »

ET. Personally, speaking from the point of view of having worked lineside for over 50-years now, is that fundamental problem won't be addressed.  That is, too much paperwork to fill in and too much to read and brief out before going lineside.  Peoples natural tendency is that if it gets too complex they will take short cuts, as the 'its too difficult' syndrome cuts in.  I'm not prejudging this was the case in the latest incident, but from the initial RAIB notice of investigation it certainly looks that way.

If you move to RED ZONE working only that will make the situation even worse, and it will probably be impossible to implement.  We might as well give up running trains altogether if that happens.  Working on a live railway always has been, and always will be a hazardous process, and you cannot eliminate all Risk.

So my messge is: Make it all simpler and straightforward for people to implement, not more complex.

While agree with all that you have said, like you I've worked lineside for 45 years most of it on 125 railways.  In those 4 plus decades a number of things have changed.
There are more faster trains operating
The noise level of the trains is lower
Vegetation is more of an issue today.
But the key issue is the experience of the staff and in particular their local knowledge.

There is less and less equipment in the 4ft or within the 2 meter zone that requires access, HS1 for instance does not allow access even to most its lineside while trains are running.

Could in a Court of Law demonstrate beyond all reasonable doubt that the work in a red zone could not reasonable done in a different way or time
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« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2020, 07:23:08 pm »

There are similar issues with roadworks, hence the greater use of road closure to carry out work. The same issues as listed by EE arise there.
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« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2020, 11:23:19 am »

Quote
A further incident with workers on a live line not being (properly) alerted to an approaching train. Fortunately in this case, the track workers concerned were alerted by the train's horn and able to jump clear.

I will leave the experts to draw appropriate parallels between Margam and Kirtlebridge - but I am posting the above in the "Margam thread" as a reminder of the critical importance of getting systems right for every situation where there is work on the track.

Sadly, Another - this from an email announcing that the RAIB is looking into it.

Quote
At around 10:52 hrs on 8 April 2020, a track worker was struck and fatally injured by a passenger train on the West Coast Main Line near to the village of Roade. The track worker was part of a group that were undertaking civil engineering work at the location. At the time of the accident the line was open to traffic.

The train was travelling from Northampton to London (Euston), at around 90 mph (145 km/h) when its driver saw the track worker on the line ahead, sounded the train horn and applied the emergency brakes.

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« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2020, 07:23:33 pm »

Quote
A further incident with workers on a live line not being (properly) alerted to an approaching train. Fortunately in this case, the track workers concerned were alerted by the train's horn and able to jump clear.

I will leave the experts to draw appropriate parallels between Margam and Kirtlebridge - but I am posting the above in the "Margam thread" as a reminder of the critical importance of getting systems right for every situation where there is work on the track.

Sadly, Another - this from an email announcing that the RAIB is looking into it.

Quote
At around 10:52 hrs on 8 April 2020, a track worker was struck and fatally injured by a passenger train on the West Coast Main Line near to the village of Roade. The track worker was part of a group that were undertaking civil engineering work at the location. At the time of the accident the line was open to traffic.

The train was travelling from Northampton to London (Euston), at around 90 mph (145 km/h) when its driver saw the track worker on the line ahead, sounded the train horn and applied the emergency brakes.



Sadly the another loss of life of someone working on an operational railway; however the work activity, the number of persons involved and staff protection method are completely different to Margam
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« Reply #58 on: July 03, 2020, 08:06:32 am »

A year ago today ... Gareth Delbridge, 64,  and Michael "Spike" Lewis, died when they were hit by a train while working on the track near Margam when systems and colleagues should have kept them safe.

From the BBC

Quote
Network Rail: 'Serious failings' led to Margam deaths, says victim's family

Two rail workers were killed by a train due to "serious failings" by their employer, according to one victim's family.

Gareth Delbridge, 64, from Kenfig Hill, and Michael "Spike" Lewis, 58, from North Cornelly, died near Margam, Port Talbot, on 3 July 2019.

Mr Delbridge's son-in-law said Network Rail's current working practices "aren't fit for purpose".

The company said it is working to "improve safety on the railway".

Investigations by Network Rail found Mr Delbridge and Mr Lewis had been using a tool with a petrol engine and wearing ear defenders, meaning they did not hear the approaching train, which was travelling from Swansea to London Paddington.

The report said six staff working on the line had separated of their own accord into groups of three, which meant there was no official lookout.

It also said the Port Talbot depot's management's "habitual ways of working had normalised behaviour which was inherently non-compliant with company and group standards."

'Archaic'

Mr Delbridge's son-in-law, Adrian Grant, from Porthcawl, said it was "unacceptable" for the report to blame individuals.

"These were very experienced men who went out to work that day and never returned home," he said.

"If that can happen to these men it says to me there are some very serious failings within an organisation. They didn't go to work for this to happen.

"For an organisation to put out a final investigation report blaming people working on the track is unacceptable."
 
Bill Kelly, Network Rail's route director for Wales and Borders, said colleagues were taking part in a two-minute silence on the anniversary of the tragedy, which "remains at the forefront of our minds".

"The safety of our colleagues and passengers remains our absolute priority and our safety task force, comprising of more than 100 people, has been set up to further improve safety on the railway," he added.

Calling the company's working practices "archaic", Mr Grant has called for the company to protect those working on tracks who are "putting their lives at risk".

"They've got men with flags and whistles or horns in front of locomotives travelling at 120 mph," he said.

"There's no lessons learnt by saying person A or person B did something wrong that day. What needs to be learnt is about the fundamentals of what went wrong."

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« Reply #59 on: July 03, 2020, 08:09:42 am »

From The TSSA

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TSSA Remembering Margam
3 July 2020

Today marks the first anniversary of the tragic deaths of two Network Rail (NR) maintenance workers at Margam, near Port Talbot in South Wales.

Gareth Delbridge (who was 64) and Michael "Spike" Lewis (aged 58) were hit by the train travelling from Swansea to London Paddington. Our thoughts remain with their family and friends - they are gone but not forgotten.

Our union will always commemorate the dead, whilst also doing, all we can to fight for the living.

Over the past twelve months we have seen progress when it comes to keeping people safe going about their work on the tracks. Our union has been very vocal in continuing to press NR for improvements in the area of track safety.

We learned – via a report from the Rail Accidents Investigation Branch - there were no formally appointed lookouts at the site where the two rail workers were hit and killed. Our union will always put your safety first and we welcomed NR establishing a safety taskforce in the wake of the deaths at Margam.

We have taken an active role working with the taskforce and are now seeing downward trends in the use of unassisted lookouts, increased use of methods of protection whilst works takes place, and more technology to drive safer solutions in our working environments.

However still more needs to be delivered to reach our collective goals - such as speeding up the roll-out of Track Circuit Operating Devices (TCODS) – a simple, cheap and effective means of providing protection to those working on the track by activating track circuits to show the track section being worked on; not relying solely on the signaller for protection.

Progress is being made but there is much still to do. We know a train nearly hit a track worker in Bedfordshire last month. The incident involved the train – travelling from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street – passing dangerously close to the worker at Leighton Buzzard.

We know NR is working on long-term improvements but risks to track workers remain too high, with too many near misses. Together we must keep pushing for ever greater progress to save lives.

So, we will continue to work with employers to ensure incidents like Margam are reduced to zero while at the same time making our concerns clear on NR’s so-called ‘Putting Passengers First’ reorganisation and the regional devolution of safety management this entails.
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