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Planning and Delivery of Safe Work (PDSW – also known as Safe Work Leader)

21 April 2016

TSSA team of health and safety reps has completed its review of PDSW, and produced their report. The team has met with TSSA Area Health & Safety Council reps to discuss that report and determine TSSA’s position going forward.

 

Planning and Delivery of Safe Work (PDSW – also known as Safe Work Leader)

The TSSA team of health and safety reps referred to in Circular 31 dated 28 January 2016 has completed its review of PDSW, and produced their report. The team has met with TSSA Area Health & Safety Council reps to discuss that report and determine TSSA’s position going forward. The report was endorsed by the Area Health & Safety Council reps.

The full report can be downloaded here  Planning and Delivery of Safe Work (PDSW)

The report’s Executive Summary is as follows:

The roll-out of the Planning and Delivering of Safe Work programme was suspended following serious issues identified as a result of initial implementation in the East Midlands area. As a result, TSSA and Network Rail agreed that a small group of TSSA health and safety representatives should work full time with the PDSW programme team to identify problems which led to the suspension, and to work with the Programme to develop solutions. They therefore undertook an investigation of the design and implementation of the programme in the East Midlands.

 

Whilst the overall intent was to improve track worker safety there is limited evidence that safety has been improved. Conversely, staff have experienced significant work load increases, stress and confusion as a result of implementation of PDSW.

 

The TSSA representatives suspect that that the principal reason for the failures which led to the suspension of the project was the pressure apparently exerted by the Network Rail Executive to bring the system into use prematurely without adequate planning, training, resources or system testing. Network Rail also clearly failed to effectively engage the workforce as a whole, the project did not gain the confidence of staff in using the supporting systems, and as a result the project is regrettably discredited amongst many staff as a result.

 

The TSSA is broadly supportive of Network Rail’s intention to combine task and railway environment risk under a single controlling mind using a permit system which promotes engagement of the person responsible for delivering the work in dialogue with those who plan and authorise the work.

 

The TSSA seeks responses from Network Rail to the issues raised and an undertaking that the recommendations made will be addressed.   

The report has now been sent to Network Rail, and a meeting will take place with Network Rail on 28 April to discuss the report and seek assurances that the report’s recommendations are responded to.

Given that PDSW is clearly discredited, the TSSA Area Health & Safety reps have agreed that there is no practical alternative other than for the union to seek the withdrawal of PDSW from the one area it has been rolled out to – the East Midlands.

As a matter of urgency, Network Rail must then work with TSSA and other trade unions to agree and deliver a replacement process to PDSW that improves the safety of those working on the track, and has the confidence of the workforce.

 

Want to get involved?

TSSA needs the involvement of reps that represent those that undertake work on the track (or in association with track workers) employed by both Network Rail and its contractors in order to ensure that the replacement for PDSW is fit for purpose, and meets your needs. If you want to get involved, please contact Steve Coe at coes@tssa.org.uk

If you don’t have a TSSA rep in your area, contact the TSSA Members’ Helpdesk preferably by email at helpdesk@tssa.org.uk to request a nomination form. You can also phone free on 0800 328 2673.

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