Electrical Safety Culture

Why Electrical Safety Culture?
It’s not what we do, but how we do it, which causes accidents, and the behaviours and culture we observe have contributed to electrical safety incidents. Changing processes, procedures and implementing new technology alone will not solve these issues. Improving our electrical safety culture across the Industry is the foundation for embedding changes to ways of working. Changes in ways of working will be supported by the electrical safety culture framework which aligns to the wider Network Rail culture framework.

The Electricity Safety Culture project team have built the framework by:
– Understanding current industry opinions by interviewing 60 industry representatives
– Analysing ‘honest’ feedback and views collected
– Identifying nine areas for improvement
– Developing short, medium and long-term priorities with an Industry Working Group

Electrical safety culture themes sit within a wider theme of behavioural safety in Network Rail and across the industry. Addressing the electrical safety culture issues outside of a system approach will have a limited impact.

What are the nine key themes?
key themes

– Accountability and Leadership
– Assurance
– Rules, procesess, and procedures
– Training and development
– Competency assessment
– Culture and behaviours
– Life Saving Rules – Test Before Touch
– Planning
– Communication

The team have launched two campaigns shaped by the feedback from industry representatives.

National ‘Step Up to Electrical Safety’ Event, designed to be cascaded through the organisations later this year to focus on
– the importance of why we must follow the safety rules / process
– the consequences if we don’t
– recognise what good looks like (relating to behaviours)

Choose to Challenge, launched in 2021 featuring Gary’s story to focus on
– recognising that if you feel something is wrong…’Take 5′, step back or stop work
– exercising your power and the importance to challenge unsafe acts
– highlighting that ‘Your Voice has the Power’
– raising awareness across the industry of the Worksafe Procedure (Internal NR) NR/SP/OHS/00112

Gary’s story stems from a serious injury, and worse case scenario. It is a short video featuring Gary Desmond (Infrastructure Maintenance Engineer, Romford) discussing an incident at Liverpool Street on 07 November 1999, where a colleague suffered life-changing injuries, and the impact it had on a close friend. This is also shared in Al’s story.

These personal stories serve as important reminders to avoid complacent attitudes in the workplace, highlights the importance of challenging, and shows what the consequences are if concerns are not raised. Gary’s Story has already been viewed over 17000 times.

If your organisation would like to know more about the ‘Step Up’ and the support that will be arranged for those leading briefings, and / or you would like to share your ‘Choose to Challenge’ story; please contact the team by emailing: Electricalculture@networkrail.co.uk

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