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Engineers focus on track worker safety Tuesday November 30, 2021

Improving track worker safety was a key topic under discussion at a recent meeting of engineers from the light rail sector.

The final meeting of the year for the UKTram Light Rail Engineering Group (LREG) took place over two days in Blackpool and delegates were given a presentation by Keith Gibbs, Safety Taskforce Leader for Network Rail.

Meeting chair Ian Middlemiss commented: “We were fortunate to have Keith join us, and his presentation illustrated the work carried out since 2019 to improve the safety of track personnel throughout the UK.

“The information he shared was very insightful and could be applied to many of the challenges faced by the Light Rail sector, as well as providing a wealth of information on track-associated tasks and risk mitigation for track workers.

“This prompted further discussion and the sharing of insights and experiences, resulting in an agreement to produce a questionnaire for members to help the LRSSB produce guidance to spread best practice for track worker safety.

Benchmarking for the industry was another topic discussed with a presentation given on a project in North America demonstrating the benefits of benchmarking and offering insights into UKTram’s vision for the industry in this country.

It was agreed that benchmarking should be a priority for the industry and that UKTram would seek agreement from members to select a pilot topic for the benchmark project.

Tram operators, maintainers and owners were well-represented, either in person or remotely, and the meeting was also attended by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).