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Improving Safety at User Worked Crossings David Whitmarsh H.M. Railway Inspectorate.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Safety at User Worked Crossings David Whitmarsh H.M. Railway Inspectorate."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Safety at User Worked Crossings David Whitmarsh H.M. Railway Inspectorate

2 1 Improving Safety at User Worked Crossings Introduction Background and Principles UWC Types HMRI Project Findings Issues for the future

3 2 UWC Background Located on private roads/land Accommodation Crossings Occupation Crossings Facilitate access disrupted by railway construction Owned by the Infrastructure Manager User decides when to cross Accepted on lines up to 125mph Some have become public crossings

4 3 Size of the Problem 3 348 User Worked Crossings (Network Rail) 44% of all level crossings Highest collision rate (per vehicle traverse) Five traverses per vehicular use Typical misuse Gates left open Not using telephones Since April 2007 At least 54 near misses (vehicular) 2 collisions

5 4 UWC Incidents Pools Crossing (2003) - 3 fatalities, 1 major, 5 minor injuries Pump House Crossing (2004) - 2 fatalities

6 5 UWC Principles of Protection Protection selected by risk assessment Railway provides user with information, but does not physically prevent access Warning time must exceed crossing time Combination of sighting distance and line speed Technological enhancement often needed Crossing normally closed against road vehicles Not intended for public use

7 6 User Worked Level Crossing Types (1) Hierarchy of Control measures based on risk UWC Basic crossing Gates and signs Lines of sight warning only UWC-W Basic crossing Whistle boards and requirement to sound train horn

8 7 UWC

9 8 User Worked Level Crossing Types (2) UWC & UWC-W Basic crossing, reliance on lines of sight/horns UWC-T Railway telephones direct to signaller Locations where Minimum warning time not met Regular use by animals on the hoof Fog is prevalent Higher vehicle use (50-99 per day) More than two rail lines Line speed exceeds 100 mph

10 9 UWC-T

11 10 User Worked Level Crossing Types (3) UWC Basic crossing, reliance on lines of sight UWC-T Insufficient visual/audible warning or other risk factors UWC-MWL Equipped with Miniature Stop/Warning Lights Increased risk as UWC-T, plus Daily vehicle use exceeds 100 Telephones impractical or long waiting times

12 11 UWC-MWL

13 12 UWC Protection Summary Gates Only open outwards (away from railway) Catches to hold them open Signs Instructions for use Means to provide adequate warning time Good approach and crossing surface Assists quick and easy crossing Information to Authorised Users

14 13 UWC Safety Responsibilities Infrastructure Manager To provide and maintain a safe and suitable crossing To provide information on safe use to Authorised Users Authorised User To ensure all users use the crossing in accordance with the IMs instructions To inform IM of any changes in use that may affect the level of risk Where involved in the conduct of an undertaking, use of level crossings must be included in HSWA risk assessment and safe systems of work

15 14 ORR UWC Project Work with Network Rail & BTP to reduce deliberate and accidental misuse Different Approach (for HMRI) Shift of focus from Crossing Operator to User Analysing user issues at sites Education and profile raising through open discussions Crossing inspection Verification of safe use inspection Small business and corporate users Emphasis on HSWA duties of users Use of intermediaries NFU Mutual, HSE, Suppliers, Councils

16 15 ORR UWC Project Locations Harrogate to York Newcastle to Berwick and Carlisle Near miss locations Accident locations Range of UWC types, risk factors and history Corporate users Utility companies, Delivery companies Forestry Commission, Environment Agency Phased visits from Summer 2007 to March 2008

17 16 ORR WC Project – Emerging Issues User recognition of HSWA implications Omissions from safe systems of work IM engagement with users To capture of site specific information To identify and exploit closure opportunities Change of ownership of land/access Increasing public use Basic maintenance Out of hours arrangements Generally positive corporate involvement

18 17 Typical problems (1)

19 18 Typical problems (2)

20 19 ORR WC Project – Next steps Further work with corporate users Formal reporting to Network Rail April 2008 Evaluation of approach Roll out of protocol Within HMRI incident response As part of 2008-09 inspection work Enforcement action where appropriate Input to other workstreams Legislative review Review of principles and guidance

21 20 Key messages Crossing risk is not wholly borne by rail industry Users usually come off worse Authorised users have a key role Controlling use and informing users Feeding in to IM risk assessment HSWA applies to business use Risk assessment and basic common sense procedures are often all that is needed Users should report defects, misuse and changes in use and ownership to IM Legislation does not handle changes in land use well

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