Railway worker fatally struck by train at Purley (06/11)

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by ArchieWoodbine, 6 Nov 2018.

  1. Pluto

    Pluto Member

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    I agree , friend of mine does zero hours contract work by choice and he wouldn't have it any other way and can't understand the stigma about it. As you say night work can be draining ZHC or not.
     
  2. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    As I said , the railways generally are, but there's areas where it's harder as the industry is very fragmented on the infrastructure side.

    I'm going to take a guess that you're no fan of collective bargaining and unionisation by your comment "They're quick enough....."
     
  3. jagardner1984

    jagardner1984 Member

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    Surely the ZHC issue is just symbolic of a society where contract workers in “the gig economy” have woefully inadequate rights in general ?

    The other issue which isn’t spoken of here is the consequences of shift work. In the part of the railway I work in (on a proper contract fortunately) my shift patterns can quickly move from a 5am start to a 7.30am start to a 11.30am start. All on an “early week”. Often several times a week. Fortunately I don’t work pure nights as such. I wish it was as easy as telling your body mid evening before an early shift “it’s time to wind down now”. But it remains a struggle.

    My point is, some here are speaking slightly judgementally about the worker’s decision to assist a friend painting during his “rest time”. Speaking personally, I know I’ve done various things around the house to try and wear myself out and get some rest at entirely unnatural times of day. None of us will ever know the thought processes he went through, so perhaps shouldn’t be so quick to judge ....
     
  4. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    This is becoming a regular occurrence sadly, I started work at 5am on Fri, then 9am on Saturday, 6:30am on a Sunday with a 4pm finish and back in at 4am this morning after the bare minimum 12 hours. It's exhausting and because your start times are all over the place your body cannot properly adjust to get the sleep you need. Just because it's 'legal' doesn't make it right.

    In my experience, the variation in shift pattern has never been this bad and it used to only happened every so often when you copped a job from spare. But it's now being worked into the roster and it's become worse as my TOC has I introduced more services on the weekends. Duties have gotten longer and the shift start time variation has gotten worse. Sometimes I think the planners from the train planning unit forget this is a human being on the other end of the schedule card who has to work that 10 and a half hour job on a Sunday, while he's on day 6 of 7 and has to be in early the next day after a 12 hour turnaround.

    Fatigue management is supposed to be one of the buzzwords or phrases at the moment but I've seen no evidence the industry takes it seriously enough.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2019
  5. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Sadly your story is all too familiar with those start times and impossible movements. It appears that fatigue management doesn't seem to extend beyond "do diagrams and rosters meet the word of the rostering agreement and pass the nebulous fatigue index?", if yes there is no way you could be fatigued. Sadly a step back and seeing an 0100 finish, 1 "day" off then an 0400 start is no way to encourage good rest.
     
  6. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Established Member

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    These days roster clerks are generally 9-5 ers who have never done shift work themselves, so do not understand. And with rosters, what suits one person doesn't suit the next, so there is no simple solution.
     
  7. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    Not overly optimistic seeing it happening, but with increasing research and knowledge about the body clock and the affect that shift work has on people's long term health maybe the drivers/guards rostering should return to something more stable with set starting hours rather than spare movements etc
     
  8. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Of course there is no solution that will suit all and those of us working on the railway all knew that shift work was part of the deal.

    But perhaps a move to have more stable shifts. Say if you have a week of earlies they all start between 0400-0600, so no huge moves during the week.
     
  9. jagardner1984

    jagardner1984 Member

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    Yes. Certainly at my work there is no operational reason why it couldn’t be rostered as having a week of A type of similar shifts, then a week of B, then a week of C, etc etc. There are not that many types of shifts, and where I am there are not that many people to roster.

    There is just complete intransigence from above to doing anything about it. “That’s just the way it is” and “maybe when someone dies they will think again” being two fairly commonly heard statements from colleagues in my workplace.
     
  10. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    People are starting to die because of it and there doesn't seem to be any actual change.
     
  11. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    There is no operational reason why those shifts
    Yes.
     
  12. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    Spot on. There are weeds so high that they can reach between the conductor rail and the sole bar in places. If they get very wet someone is going to get hurt, then the industry will leap into action.
     
  13. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    Because until a senior manager is jailed nothing will.
     
  14. PG

    PG Member

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    Sadly, reading all todays posts, it seems the railway is now following the path that the buses took after privatisation - a race to the bottom :frown:

    I hope I'm wrong but I fear it's going to take a passenger fatality before the issue of fatigue and shift work is treated with any degree of seriousness.
     
  15. superkev

    superkev Established Member

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    Personal view is I cant believe in this age of technology that the signaller doesn't know in real time where all track workers are and vice versa why track workers dont know where every train within a few miles is. Add to that a warning when the two are too close.
    K
     
  16. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Established Member

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    Its not the signaller's job to know where all the track workers are. Their job is knowing where the trains are. Its the track workers' jobs to know where they are
     
  17. IrishDave

    IrishDave Member

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    Devil's advocate: why shouldn't it be the signaller's job to know where any track workers are?

    Until a few years ago it would have imposed an impossible burden on the signaller, but these days with GPS and cell tower triangulation it's possible to get a very accurate view of where a track worker is as long as they have a mobile phone. Could the information not be fed back to the signaller as an overlay of his signalling view so he can see - and perhaps automatic alarms could be generated for both signaller and track worker?
     
  18. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Two issues...

    You'd need centimeter perfect location to stop a huge amount of false alarms.

    Youd need to alter the signallers view from the stylised and compressed view they currently have to a more scale view. That suddenly turns a 50+ mile panel into either a physically massive installation or an endlessly scrolling display.
     
  19. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    It’s also a potentially massive workload to have to monitor everyone who might go on the track across the breadth of a signal panel.
     
  20. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    This, while technology has moved forward what a lot of people don't appreciate is that on the whole a signallers workload has progressively gotten heavier and heavier. They are responsible for a much larger area and many more trains than in days gone by.
     
  21. Sunset route

    Sunset route Member

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    It would be a total nightmare, it’s bad enough protecting multiple LBs for green zone working let alone somehow monitoring god knows how many individual workers red zone working or just walking trackside and at what point would I know they are in harms way and not clearing the line quick enough. So I agree this would put a massive workload on the grade and would be unworkable let alone practical.
     
  22. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I wonder if there is scope to use location services on mobiles to confirm to the relevant COSS that the indivdual is in the correct place when, for example, accessing the line or placing protection. This could also issue an alert to both the individual and the COSS if they went beyond possession limits, but wouldn't be accurate enough to be used to protect an adjacent working line.
     
  23. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Established Member

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    Exactly. And you're then expecting one individual to be responsible for everyone's safety, rather than each individual being responsible for their own
     
  24. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Established Member

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    Mobile phone signals aren't failsafe. You get dead areas, batteries go flat, people drop and lose their phones, the software crashes etc etc. That's why we still use Victorian methods - modern technology hasn't yet devised a way of replacing it
     
  25. ACBest

    ACBest Member

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  26. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    What are the unions doing about those unacceptable variations in start times?
     
  27. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    I agree that they can't be located to the nearest metre but there must be a way of knowing they'd entered completely the wrong access point?
     
  28. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    Who has allowed that?
     
  29. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    Correct, I'm afraid
     
  30. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    Not a lot they can do, the rosters are agreed by the local reps and if they are 'legal' they can't just refuse to accept them. Believe it or not they were an improvement on the roster originally proposed at the start of the new timetable. Ironically I'm back in at 4am today after yesterday's 6am start...

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    Last edited: 17 Jul 2019

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