Keeping our workforce safe

Everyone home safe every day

We’re passionate about safety: for our employees, our contractors, the passengers who travel on our network and members of the public who interact with the railway at places such as level crossings and shops at our stations.

At the heart of our safety policy are 10 lifesaving rules, which help our employees to stay safe and go home safe every day.

Find out about our approach to safety

Having a safe and well workforce helps us, together with our supply chain, to deliver our planned maintenance, renewal and upgrade works. Our integrated health, safety and wellbeing programme, known as the Home Safe Plan, drives our overall safety performance.

Our biggest workforce safety risks are posed by:

Driving. We operate a fleet of 7,500 vehicles covering in excess of 100 million miles a year. We’re working hard to reduce the risk of road traffic accidents through our Management of Occupational Road Risk project.

Staff being struck by a train while maintaining, enhancing or renewing the railway. We currently have two critical projects operating to address this risk:

  • Planning and delivering safer work project – enabling our staff to plan how they access the track in a safe way and undertake their work safely
  • Safer Trackside Working project – developing and introducing signalling operated train warning and train protection systems.

Fatigue. Our employees and contractors work flexible hours around the clock to keep the railway operating. We know that our people often travel long distances to get to work; or work disruptive and sometimes very long hours, which can all lead to fatigue. Our fatigue management project is introducing a fatigue management standard to help our staff and managers reduce excess working hours.

We encourage our people to help drive safety performance, whatever their role. All our Home Safe Plan projects require our senior leaders to be actively involved. Some of our employees are members of the Rail & Maritime Union (RMT), the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) and Unite unions and we work closely with these unions to encourage the input of our staff to help drive great safety performance.

We have a number of safety arrangements in place for our workforce:

  1. Sentinel is a highly regarded and trusted primary safety system used across the industry. It makes sure that employees are competent in the duties they perform on infrastructure belonging to Network Rail and Transport for London. 
  2. The Principal Contractor Licensing Scheme requires that all principal contractors working on our infrastructure are consistent in their approach to project delivery.
  3. The Plant Operations Scheme supports safe planning, control and use of track plant and equipment.
  4. We actively encourage our workers to report close calls so that risks can be removed before causing injury.