On 17 March the driver of a Southern service from Brighton to Watford Junction reported a near miss, after a member of track maintenance staff had dived clear of his train with only seconds to spare.
The immediate cause of the incident was the system of work implemented at the site did not take into account the possibility of trains switching lines via the crossover on which the team were working. Causal factors were the limited experience of the Controller of Site Safety, and the established system of work did not involve staff moving to a position of safety when trains were approaching on the up fast line. There were two possible other causal factors, and one contributory factor. The underlying cause is the lack of explicit instruction about working under these conditions in the rule book.
RAIB has made eight recommendations as a result of this incident. These are aimed at:
- the competency of staff in charge of safety when working in traffic
- rules and training
- the identification, recording and briefing of hazards
- the planning of safe systems of work forms
- the presentation of information in operating documentation.
Response to recommendations:
- RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body.
- RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.
Published 10 December 2014