Would you always follow rules and procedure?

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Twotwo, 2 Feb 2019.

Would you always follow rules and procedure?

  1. Yes

    79 vote(s)
    60.3%
  2. Yes, unless in an emergency

    37 vote(s)
    28.2%
  3. Other

    5 vote(s)
    3.8%
  4. No

    10 vote(s)
    7.6%
  1. Twotwo

    Twotwo Member

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    i was having a debate with a few people and I noticed everyone had their own perspective so just wanted to know what everyone else thought and why.
     
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  3. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Where is the 'NO' option ?
     
  4. Twotwo

    Twotwo Member

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    Lol changed it now. Any reason or examples why it would be a no?
     
  5. Aivilo

    Aivilo Member

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    Theyre in place for a very good reason and any circumstance for me to not follow would be extreme
     
  6. Bennski

    Bennski Member

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    Far as I'm aware rules and procedures cater for any emergency situations and outline exactly what you should do in an emergency situation. Granted I'm sure there are some situations were perhaps following rules and procedures isn't possible. I wonder what emergency situations would require you to not follow rules and procedures though?
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's a very wide question. Some rules are very important. Some rules are petty, silly and pointless and recognised as such by most people. For instance, there are quite a lot of old laws that are no longer relevant but have not been repealed - but are not enforced and you aren't really expected to follow them - it's just that the admin to remove them has not been done as there are other priorities.

    Or do you mean "would you always follow rules and procedures (i.e. the Rule Book) while working as traincrew", given the subforum in which that has been posted? In that case I would change to a yes; the job basically is the rules.
     
  8. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Mainly because its a yes/no question. Do you always..

    The Yes - 'unless in an emergency' is no by default but its a little bit of a cop out answer. People believe that they can break rules in an emergency because its an emergency. When I find the opposite to be true. In an emergency you can put lives at risk because you failed to follow the rules.

    Think about train evacuation. There is a fire on the train and there are various rules and procedures in place to protect the line, protect the train and protect the passengers. What happens if you decide to break the rules and just evac passengers off the train onto a live running line ? We forget that there are rules and procedures in place for an emergency too.

    What about a situation where the rules dictate one thing but you become aware that it would lead to a dangerous situation ? 'I was under orders' is a phrase that springs to mind. Railway wise the over arching 'rule' is that if you do not believe it is safe, don't do it. That includes where a rule may allow it.

    I would also say there is a case where rules are a little flexible and open to interpretation. Is a rule being followed in the 'spirit' or the 'letter'

    You also need to think on a very basic level that we ignore and break rules every single day. The speed limit on the motorway is 70mph. How many of us break that ?

    Which all leads me to an honest answer where 'no' I do not always follow the rules. I would do my best to follow the rules and I understand the importance of them, especially in a railway context, but the reality is very different.
     
  9. RBSN

    RBSN Member

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    Well put, ComUtoR
     
  10. Llama

    Llama Established Member

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    Rules, yes always, only exception would be in the most dire emergency imaginable.

    'Procedure', not necessarily quite as absolutely as 'rules'.
     
  11. The Lad

    The Lad Member

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    Rules provide an expectation of what will happen in a situation. Ultimately they cannot cover every situation but 150 years of experience goes some way to that. To do anything different requiires the very clear understanding of all involved.
     
  12. Llama

    Llama Established Member

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    Here is something that came up in discussions following the serious fire at Smithy Bridge on the middle vehicle of 144023 some years ago. It was acknowledged that if the fire had happened a few minutes later in Summit Tunnel rather than in the open like it did, there was a likelihood that passengers could have lost their lives.
    In a drivers' safety brief the following year the whole incident was deconstructed and portrayed, from lead-up to aftermath. There was a full investigation which highlighted a lot of failings by many of the staff involved and some of the equipment meant to be provided for use in such an emergency. Some of those failings were brought up in the safety brief and also some potential complications in a similar incident, such as what would have happened if the incident had occured in a long tunnel.

    Driver's instructions in the rule book are quite clear. M1 4.1 says:
    "You must try to put out any fire on the train. However, if it will not be possible to put the fire out within a few seconds, you must make sure the train is stopped immediately.
    Where possible you must not stop the train or allow it to remain:
    • in a tunnel
    • on a viaduct, or
    • at any other unsuitable place."

    One scenario posed in the safety brief was that of a passenger operating the 'passcom' (emergency alarm, shortened from 'passenger communications equipment') in a tunnel when a train is on fire. On the unit involved at Smithy Bridge and all other 14x and 15x units a passcom being operated would immediately cause an emergency brake application. This brake application can only be overridden by the driver or guard physically resetting the passcom in question using a carriage key. There are several passcoms in most traction units, usually one or two in a saloon, in each lavatory and at least one at every door vestibule.
    Whereabouts on the train a passcom has been activated can be indicated to the driver and guard by the external hazard lights (and uniquely on a 144 by a light on the cab desk which illuminates whenever the hazard lights are lit on that actual vehicle). However there are other systems beside a passcom which can also cause a hazard light to illuminate inns diesel unit - fire detection system activation, exterior door opened/released/fault, TCA (track circuit actuator/assistor) fault and brake control circuit breaker tripped. So it wouldn't necessarily be obvious that it was a passcom activated, there is a good chance that in a fire situation the hazard light would be illuminated by the activation of the fire detection system or by a passenger panicking and maybe operating an emergency door egress (which would also cause an emergency brake application on all 14x/15x units).
     
  13. Eccles1983

    Eccles1983 On Moderation

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    That's not correct.

    You can override a passcom by raising the EBS in the leading cab, and powering out of the tunnel. I have pondered this scenario a fair bit at that exact location. It's why I have a spare key in my pocket at all times.
     
  14. $Cm$zS2*

    $Cm$zS2* Member

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    Are there any circumstances when you would not follow rules and procedure?

    No. That ain't going to happen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 2 Feb 2019
  15. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Pop Quiz(s)

    Your unit develops a critical fault. The brake are randomly coming on and off, the interlock is dropping in and out. You are at a very busy station and cannot open your doors. Your options are to go wrong road through a major metro area. This won't resolve the fault and will block the area and ultimately block a platform at a major terminal. The unit will also need recovering later. Or you can flip an MCB and go ECS to the depot (which is what will happen later anyway). You are not allowed to trip MCBs but you have been given permission to do so. Which would you do ?

    When preparing your unit for service you discover a skirt open (below sole bar cover) There is an air leak and the normally covered isolation cock will stop the leak. Do you isolate the cock and close the cupboard. This will resolve the leak and allow the train to be recovered to the depot. Or do you leave it because its an isolation cock that is usually inaccessible and not touched ?

    A stop mark in a sidings is incorrectly placed and your unit will foul the points. However, the latest instruction is to stop at the marked board. Do you stop or go past ?

    A passenger gets their coat stuck in a door from the inside. Unfortunately the door is on the offside and the rules state they cannot be opened on the offside or when not accommodated in a platform.
    Do you quickly release the door enough to pull the coat out or inform the passenger they have to wait till there is a suitable platform or leave their coat stuck ?
     
    Last edited: 2 Feb 2019
  16. baz962

    baz962 Established Member

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    Always wondered about M1 4.1. ( driver's instructions ) you must try to put out any fire on the train . However if you can't put it out within a few seconds , you must stop the train immediately. How do you get from cab to rear carriage within a few seconds. Also that read's as if you should try to put it out while the train is moving .
     
  17. Jimathy

    Jimathy Member

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    I'd take a road if it prevented a more serious Collison. Hope to avoid both though, but if the "greater good" is against the rules, I'm saving lives.
     
  18. $Cm$zS2*

    $Cm$zS2* Member

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    Pop Quiz: vandals place shopping trolley on the line and you know there's a fast train approaching in minutes as you are the station supervisor, do you get on to the track and remove it because you fear for a dreadful disaster and get sacked for breaking procedure, or do you follow procedure?
     
    Last edited: 2 Feb 2019
  19. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    I remember this incident. The guy lost his job. I believe there was a little more to it but essentially it highlights that working in absolutes isn't the always the best option. In this case I would have followed the procedure as best I could and at the last, if that wasn't enough, I think I would have acted. There is a thread about it somewhere. So far, 6 others have voted that they would break the rules in an emergency. This would be one of those situations where they soo would act.
     
  20. $Cm$zS2*

    $Cm$zS2* Member

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    Is it worth losing your job over and with it the mortgage on your house which you've spent a lifetime trying to earn, the house which gives a home to your family, and is it worth making your Wife and Kids homeless over?
     
  21. $Cm$zS2*

    $Cm$zS2* Member

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    How do you know the stop board is incorrectly placed? It might be placed there intentionally with the full knowledge that it will foul the points. It may be there to protect a section of defective track. It may be there for many reasons which you are not aware of and the consequences of it being there may have been planned for.
     
    Last edited: 2 Feb 2019
  22. $Cm$zS2*

    $Cm$zS2* Member

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    How did the passenger get their coat stuck in the offside door anyway? They must have been stuck from at least the last station. Do you want to risk them failing from the train just so they don't have to wait until the next suitable platform?
     
  23. $Cm$zS2*

    $Cm$zS2* Member

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    Do you know why you are not allowed to trip MCBs? What are the consequences of you tripping the MCB? Does obtaining permission then override the prohibition on you tripping MCBs?
     
  24. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    I suppose what went through the guys mind was that he could either watch a train crash , derail, kill many people or take a risk. If he can sleep at night then its worth it. Many people who do break the rules do so because they believe they are doing the right thing. People will act on their conscience. I would like to think that I would act, in good faith, to do the right thing and accept the consequence. Some prefer not to and some prefer to hide behind the rules even knowing its wrong. Ultimately you have to make a personal choice.

    Sometimes people make mistakes. Do you just ignore it and say "f'k it, not my job, don't care" or do you do something about it ? Part of what we do is make that decision and when something is wrong or just feels wrong we act on it. I don't subscribe to the practice where you blindly follow instructions and blindly follow rules and absolve yourself of any responsibility because well, them's the rules. Allowing something to happen, when you know its wrong, still makes you just as guilty.

    All very true and that is the balance you have to maintain. I tend to be resolute in my actions and accept the consequences. What I find hard to accept is those who constantly want to excuse their behavior or absolve themselves from any responsibility because it can't be their fault because they followed the rules.

    I think a lot of that comes from the blame culture we have today. You are right in that you can potentially lose your job and your livelyhood for a simple decision. With an increasing number of incidents going to court it is a very hard decision to make.
     
  25. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Which is exactly what happened. The previous station was an offside release and it was a busy commuter service. The passenger got their coat caught. Just unlucky I guess.

    Which is the question that goes through the mind of the Driver or the person who is faced with making that decision. Does that passenger leave their jacket or wait 20 minutes before they can be released or do you pop the door, pull out the coat, and reset the door in a matter of seconds ?

    Are you going to continue to turn this back on me. I'm happy to answer or are you willing to give your answers and justifications ? I used to be very black and white and thought and acted in absolutes but I have learned that the reality is much different.

    I find I am more at odds now with those who just do what their told, when their told, question nothing, just do it and sod the consequences because it ain't their problem. I find that there needs to be a balance. Just as I said in another thread. There are some signals where I will challenge it. Potentially you can prevent an incident, or you can crash your train.

    I am not saying either way is right of wrong. As long as people act with good intentions them I'm happy.
     
    Last edited: 2 Feb 2019
  26. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Yes I do.

    The fault resolves and is able to be worked forward safely. albeit ECS. Pretty much this is what fleet will do anyway because the fault cannot be fixed on the fly and following procedure will take hours. There is a cut an run policy in effect where you tend to isolate and go

    Nothing is black and white. The problem is that there is no real rule stating YOU MUST NOT. This is purely because of the physical location of the MCB that will resolve the fault. Rules do not allow for every circumstance so you tend to get caught in a bit of a grey area and stuck between a rock and a hard place. Breaking the rule not to trip that specific MCB, resolves the fault and saves the company thousands of pounds. Does that financial penalty justify breaking of the rules ? For some that's a no in any circumstance. Is there a safety risk involved ? no, but again does that justify the action taken ? The problem with our job is that sometimes you do get told to do something that isn't quite within the rulebook or sits in a grey area. Sometimes mistakes are made because someone gets told the wrong thing to do and they do it blindly. Again, there is a balance to maintain and as 'The Lad' states. It takes a lot of knowledge and understanding as well as experience to be able to make those decisions.
     
  27. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

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    As a passenger, me and everyone else (well, 95% of rail users, the other 5% being football enthusiasts on a match day!) follows the Railway Byelaws without even knowing; it's just common sense. However, if something happened that would require me to not follow the rules, I would do it if it meant the situation could be solved or someone saved.
    If I was a driver, I would make sure that I follow the rules / procedures until they stopped working in a serious scenario, if such a thing could happen. Or, if I were to think that they were of no use, I would go about solving the situation in my own, safe, way.
     
  28. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    A fascinating discussion!
    That's the answer, for me. It highlights the importance of having a thorough understanding of the underlying principles to the Rule Book. It shows the difference between those who know the rules inside out and can do what the book tells them until they happen across a situation that the rules don't really cover, and those who know how to interpret and apply the rules to those unusual situations. I don't particularly like the distinction between breaking rules and bending rules, but it seems vaguely relevant. There are some things that you must do and some things that you must not do, and the rest is down to you to decide what needs to be done and in which order. I do like this clause:

    I don't understand why you wouldn't be allowed to trip MCBs? I can understand them not wanting you to go off and start fault-finding on your own. If Maintenance Control authorise you (or indeed instruct you) to go and trip a particular MCB to try and resolve the fault, then surely that is all the permission that you need? I'd draw the line at Control "authorising" me to do something that the Rule Book (or TOC-specific appendices, yuk) or Sectional Appendix expressly prohibits.

    If Control authorises it, why not? My traction training tells me what these isolating cocks are for and the consequences of operating one. I recall prepping one to find that the horn didn't work at all, and further investigation quickly revealed that it had been isolated during repairs and - in error - not reinstated. At the most, a quick phone call to make sure that there wasn't another reason for it being left isolated, then get on with it?

    Where is the stop mark relative to the points? Is it such that it's just beyond the fouling point so that the front of the unit will foul the points, or such that it'll be rear of the unit that won't be inside clear? Either way, it's a rock and a hard place, but the Rule Book requirement to not leave your train foul (or at least to tell the person in charge if you have to leave it foul) takes precedence every time for me. If it's a stop board rather than just a car stop marker, seek the shunter's authority to go far enough past it to be inside at the rear. If it isn't a stop board, why is it so critical that the train is stopped exactly at the stop mark?

    It's getting more interesting now! What if the train's about to be taken out of service to go for stabling? On the other hand, what if you release the local door briefly and the passenger manages to fall out, perhaps being caught off balance by their coat suddenly being freed? Maybe it's one for Control to make a decision on. Taking a line blockage on the adjacent line first might be a sensible precaution though!
     
  29. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    Rules get ‘broken’ more often than people think.

    But they are covered with a risk assessment, and backed by a manager. There is internal processes for this exact reason.

    What needs to be remembered is that the rule book cannot cover every scenario.

    Also sometimes the rules are there for perfectly valid reasons, but a situation will arise and that same rule will stop the job, even though the rule is there for an entirely different reason.

    And sometimes these situations are not “emergencies” or life and death situations.

    Picture this:

    A major incident has occurred (let’s say an unexploded WW2 bomb has been discovered). The police have put in a corden which involves shutting the railway nearby, and they will not budge.

    You’ve got an empty coaching stock train trapped outside of a terminus station, but on a running line platform. It’s early hours in the morning, the police will not lift the corden for 6-7 hours.

    Do you

    A) force that driver to stay with the train until the corden is given up, making that driver go over his hours, and drive the train to another location in 6 hours time, when he will he heavily fatigued?

    B) do a risk assessment on allowing the driver to stable the train on an open running lane, taking all necessary precautions to secure it?
     
  30. berwicksfinest

    berwicksfinest Member

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    Easiest answer

    If you are standing in Her Majesty's Dock and you have acted in accordance with the Rule book, no problems

    If you have acted outside the Rule book, no matter the circumstances ........... your on your own, however well meant
     
  31. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    I've always asked myself whether, if I'm later gripping the brass rail, will I be able to justify what I've done. If I've done something that the Rule Book clearly says that I must not do, then I'm probably going to be in trouble unless I had a very good reason for doing so. If I've dealt with a situation that the Rule Book doesn't cover prescriptively, by applying the rules as sensibly and safely as I can, then I'd like to think that I'd be able to justify my actions.
     

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