Report 07/2017: Track workers class investigation

Class investigation into accidents and near misses involving trains and track workers outside possessions.


The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has investigated a number of accidents involving track workers on Network Rail’s infrastructure and has identified track worker safety as an area of particular concern in recent annual reports. This report describes the RAIB’s investigation into the safety of track workers working outside possessions of the line (ie those cases in which the normal running of trains has not been blocked to allow engineering work to be carried out). It follows the publication in 2015 of the RAIB’s report into irregularities with protection arrangements during infrastructure engineering work.


Five recommendations have been made to Network Rail. These cover

  • improvements in procedures and/or training for those in leadership roles to be able to adapt to changes in circumstances
  • improvements to the training of track workers in non-technical skills
  • changes in the competence requirements for people who lead track work in higher-risk situations
  • making location-specific photographic and video information more easily available to staff involved in planning and leading work on the track
  • improvements in the collection, analysis and reporting of information on incidents involving track workers


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.

RAIB Recommendation response for Track workers class investigation

Published 13 April 2017