High street environment

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Network snail

New Member
17 Jun 2012
Can some one please explain to me high street environment working on platforms while trains are running but not working within the 1.25 meter rule to the nearest running rail but the client still requests a c.o.s.s to be present?

And no s.s.o.w pack is required. Surley you can't be classed as a c.o.s.s is
This a grey area?
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RailUK Forums


13 Mar 2011
When working on a railway platform under high street enviroment, it usually involved setting up a secure fence around the worksite.

A COSS is usually required, as they can act on any emergencies that may occur, ie fouling the line, failsafe working or to prevent working outside the fence line.

Workers within the confines would not require any railway certification, PTS.
Thats the way it used to work, not so sure if the rules regarding the above has changed.

The Snap

Established Member
10 Jun 2005
Can someone clarify 'high street environment' for me please?


Established Member
14 Apr 2012
Within earshot of trains passing the one and half
Firstly, it isn't a defined term, e.g. it has no legal or procedural definition.

Second, it normally means a working area where the overall non-task risks are no worse than in a public place. So, slips, trips, open manholes, electrocution, falling pianos etc. are all still risks, but trains, road vehicles etc. aren't.

A station car park could be considered to be a high-street environment, as could a section of line under a full possession, fenced off at both ends, with the traction power isolated and earthed.

An open station platform probably isn't, because the risk to the public is increased by the working party.
Last edited:


4 Aug 2009
The NR Standard NR/L2/OHS/005 defines a High Street Environment as:
A site of work segregated from railway operations, using the
segregation hierarchy defined within this standard, in such a
way that no safety risk or other risk associated with the work
activities on the site can be transferred to the operational
railway and vice versa.

A COSS is not required, however a "Site Keeper" needs to be appointed if required (see below). Usually the Site Keeper is a qualified COSS, but its upto the contractor to nominate a competent person.

The segregation of the ‘High Street’ environment from railway operations may be achieved by either permanent or temporary physical barrier(s), or when circumstances permit, by Site Keeper(s). The following hierarchy of segregation shall be considered and applied, by the Competent Representative:
• Permanent physical barrier (an internal or external wall of a building, a
retaining wall, a platform fence, or any other suitable permanent feature);
• Fixed temporary physical barrier (site hoardings etc.);
• Temporary portable barrier
• Site Keeper.


Established Member
9 Oct 2005
There is a principle applied in Health and Safety (or more accurately it should be applied, but sometime people with poor judgement fail to do so :( ), that there is no need to manage or mitigate job related risks that are the same and no greater than those that people will encounter in their daily lives. For example there is no need to train people how to use stairways safely.

The term High Street is a colloquial term for the type of risks that one would encounter when walking down a busy High street.
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