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Working on Rail: Key Safety Tips

20 August 2018 by Kieran McLoone
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Railway deaths are at an all-time low – which is great news. However, it’s always good to keep on top of safety so that these numbers can remain at comfortably minimal levels.

That’s why we want to give a quick rundown of some key tips and things to bear in mind when entering the world of the Rail industry. Some may seem obvious, but by keeping an eye on smaller issues, you can avoid any big problems.

Never Assume Equipment is Isolated – ‘Test Before Touch’

Working on railways, you’ll be around high levels of electrical current more often than other roles. This means being aware of the dangers around you, and checking with colleagues if you’re unsure of what’s safe to interact with.

Even if you’ve previously isolated some equipment and stepped away for a moment, never run the risk when it’s so straightforward to check before working.

Always Remain Alert of Movable Equipment

In a similar vein, always remain aware of nearby train cars and carriages when working on the lines. Even if they’re supposed to be stationary, a lapse in judgement could result in something serious.

It’s recommended to keep at least 25ft between yourself and the end of standing trains, cars, and locomotives. Give yourself plenty of space – and time – to react if necessary. Giving space on either side of the tracks is also a necessity: train cars are considerably wider than the tracks they rest on, and at least 15ft should stand between you and the carriage when moving.

As a statistic, it can take 1 mile of track to bring a train travelling at 60mph to a halt. These are dangerous machines if mishandled, and they shouldn’t be underestimated.

Use Common Sense

There’s a whole host of rules and safety precautions which we could run through, but common sense stands above everything else as the most important asset when working Rail.

Don’t climb on to or off any moving equipment – that’s a given. Wearing fluorescent clothing with reflective striping is also a must, and avoiding the ‘third rail’ – the highly electrified rail that’s either found above the tracks or the in the middle of them – will minimise any potential risk.


For more on rail, or to speak about potential roles, get in touch with us on 020 3176 4790.


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