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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 that in 10 years, 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 Data: Network Rail Audit, 2014). Every year there is at least one serious incident on overhead lines alone – and that is one too many.
ESD exists to significantly improve the safety of everyone working on or near 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 increase Network Rail compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989 (EaWR).
Further training across our workforce (both Network Rail and partner organisations), better business processes and enhancements to the infrastructure should all help to drive these improvements.
All involved projects and workstreams will hold trials to enhance success against the improvements to be made.