Single Approach to Isolation (SAI)

Why is SAI being developed?

An area of focus of the ESD Programme is process, competence and culture. This is being delivered under a workstream called Single Approach to Isolations (SAI). This single approach is being developed for overhead line equipment (OLE), conductor rail, and distribution. All isolations will be based on the same common electrical safety principles.

The single approach to isolation will enable Network Rail to improve workforce safety and demonstrate improved compliance to the electricity at work regulations (EaWR 1989) by: –

a. Improving identification of electrical hazards, and an increased focus on removing or mitigating residual electrical hazards

b. Equipping the workforce to apply the rules by increasing their electrical knowledge and competence

c. Providing a clear hierarchy of electrical safe systems of work (ESSoW) and increasing the emphasis on the isolation of all tracks, and requiring robust justification for moving down the heirarchy

The changes introduced from SAI will commence during control period six (CP6) on a phased approach, and will include: –

1. Electrical safety clearances and distances – aligned to the principles of the RSSB guidance note on electrical safety GE GN 8575
2. Improved electrical risk assessment process – to support planning
3. Improved control measures and mitigations of risk – including the use of concepts like Reminder of Live Exposed (RoLE) equipment
4. New electrical safe system of work (ESSoW) hierarchy – differentiates the level of electrical risk
5. Improved training and competence
6. Improved electrical safety culture – cross industry awareness
7. Earthing strategy improvements – Wales & Western are continuing to develop future process changes to enable the use of Optimised Earthing

Process changes are underpinned by improvements in training and competence, whilst building on an inclusive electrical safety culture.

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