A toilet waste cassette from a mobile welfare unit was emptied into a stormwater drain earlier this month instead of being disposed of in the correct way.
A member of staff found the toilet blocked and out of use when they went to use it. They reported it to the supplier of the welfare unit but, in an attempt to fix the problem the cassette of effluent waste was emptied on site at the nearest drain in error. This was a stormwater drain.
We must ensure that similar actions are not repeated in the future, ensuring adequate welfare arrangements and contingencies are in place.
For example, we could supply extra cassettes for the toilets where the operatives change the cassette but leave the disposal of it to the van maintenance team, as they know what the correct disposal method is.
Is everyone on site aware that nothing but clean water should be discharged into a drain?
Do we know how often effluent waste should be removed and the process to do so correctly?
Do we need extra cassettes?
Does everyone know who to report welfare maintenance issues to?
Does everyone know how mobile welfare vans are serviced and cleaned? For example the location of spare cassettes, contact details for the hire company, cleaners etc.
Additional protection for track workers
Challenge set for Sussex
Helen Warnock, Sussex Infrastructure director has set her team a challenge to put additional protection onto line blocks and move them up the protection ladder for maintenance work, meaning it will be even safer for track workers.
As it stands, the majority around 98% - of maintenance tasks now take place in green zone, which is much safer for our people. It means most of the work taking place on track fits into line blocks or possessions, with the signaller responsible for holding the signal at danger so trains can't enter the area. We still want to move away from relying on one person to protect teams working out on track, which is why adding an independent piece of technology, like a ZKL, or process, such as a signal disconnection, to line blocks is so important. It means trains cannot be accidently signalled into the area, and we prevent any unintended consequences of removing lookouts.
Maintenance teams are now looking at how we put additional protection onto line blocks, and the Track Worker Safety programme team are available to work with Section managers and planners to work out which method is best for the task. Sussex section managers and planners will be going through their signal box notices and matching line blocks to additional protection with the aim of completing this by 14 February. Any exceptions have to be agreed with IMDMs and IMEs. This means that a huge amount of work taking place in Sussex will be safer, and our people will be given the highest form of protection.
Manual Track Circuit Operating Devices (TCODs) are a useful and simple bit of kit track workers can carry around to add to a line block to give them the confidence of two safeguards against coming into contact with a train.
We've released a new video and guide on how and when to use them, which you can see here.
Recycling old PPE
New year, new PPE?
If you don't want to carry on wearing or using worn out protective equipment but don't know what to do with it, help is at hand!
Recycling Lives is recycling specialist who provides a total waste management service. They collect, process and recycle all the PPE they receive, including safety helmets, gloves, hi-vis clothing and safety harnesses, turning it into a brand new fibre.
Share the safety messages
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