Electricity is one of the greatest dangers we face when working on the Railway; whether it be from the overhead lines, conductor rail or in substations.
An audit in 2014 found over a 10 year period, electrical safety incidents involving Network Rail employees resulted in 2 fatalities, 35 life changing injuries, 775 minor injuries and a very high number of close calls. (Source: Network Rail Audit, 2014). Every year there is at least one serious incident recorded on overhead lines alone – that is one too many.
ESD exists to significantly improve the safety of everyone working on or near the electrical rail infrastructure. Funded by the DfT (and with the support of the ORR), the programme will improve workforce safety by removing the root causes of electrical safety incidents and by increasing Network Rail’s compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989 (EaWR).
Further training across our workforce (both Network Rail and partner organisations), improved business processes and enhancements to the infrastructure should all help to drive these improvements in compliance and safety
To inform workforce and maximise success, all affected involved projects and workstreams will hold trials of all improvements to be made.