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Workforce safety is primarily measured by the Workforce safety (fatalities and weighted injuries) measure. This measure compares the weighted number of personal injuries that are reported in the Safety Management Information System (SMIS) for all Network Rail staff and contractors working on Network Rail’s managed infrastructure, normalised per million hours worked. This measure provides information to help monitor and control accidents and injuries to the workforce.
Note: the previously reported figures for 2010/11 for lost time injuries (100) and Major injuries (203) have been updated. 2011/12 Major (98) and Lost Time (314) updated and 2012/13 Major (101) and Lost Time (322) have been updated due to reconciliation. Overall difference of +10 reported accidents.
Sadly, there were three workforce fatalities in the year. On 19 June 2013, Michael Morris and Zach Payne, two contract welders returning to their depot, by road, from a railway worksite were fatally injured in a collision and subsequent fire on the A1 near Newark. On 22 January 2014, John Wright, a member of the ultrasonics test team based at Doncaster maintenance delivery unit was struck by a train at Newark Northgate (LNE), whilst undertaking lookout duties, and sustained serious injuries. John was taken to hospital but, tragically, succumbed to his injuries on 31 January.
There were a total of 122 major injuries in the year, compared with 104 in the previous year. The 13 period Fatalities and Weighted Injuries (FWI) rate was 0.161, against a year end target of 0.090 (a target set before the level of workforce accident RIDDOR under-reporting had been identified and subsequently rectified earlier in this control period). The FWI trend has been generally rising over the year and is higher than last year’s figure of 0.149. The 13 period Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) was 0.364, with the AFR trend showing a gradual decrease over the year, and is 5.70% better than last year’s figure of 0.386.
At the end of the control period, the Workforce Safety Indicator was 79% worse than the control period end internal target. There were eleven workforce fatalities in the control period: three were due to being struck by trains; two due to falls from height; one due to being overcome by fumes when working in a confined space; and five due to driving related activities.
Slips, trips and falls remain consistently the most common cases of accidents to Network Rail’s combined contractor workforce. The next most common causes of injuries are contact injuries, struck by object and manual handling.
A workforce safety ten point strategic plan was formulated last year to improve workforce safety, with each element of the plan being led by a member of the Executive Committee, and this is now being implemented.
There have also been a number of positive safety culture interventions throughout the latter part of the control period including: introduction of the 11 lifesaving rules; ‘fair culture’ investigation principles, safety conversations training and close-call reporting.