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Network Rail: Area Health & Safety Committee Rep By-Elections

6 March 2019

At the close of nominations on 16 January 2019, the following nominations had been received: A number of vacancies remain unfilled.

Network Rail: Area Health & Safety Committee Rep By-Elections

At the close of nominations on 16 January 2019, the following nominations had been received:
• Kent Operations: Anthony Boyle
• Sussex Operations: Jonathan Hundley
• Route Services: John Partington
• Safety Technical and Engineering: John Kelly

These were elected unopposed. Since then, Kevin Boyd has also been appointed by TSSA for Safety Technical & Engineering. The term of office for these reps expires on 31 July 2020.

Vacancies for Area H&S Committee Reps employed in the Routes

In the Routes, TSSA currently has 35 reps on the Area Health & Safety Committees in the Routes with 24 positions unfilled. There is currently no TSSA representation at all on 5 of those Area Health & Safety Committees.

It has been decided that nominations should be opened one last time for the vacant positions in the Routes – nominations for these positions closes at noon on 1 April 2019. Should there be more than one valid nomination for the positions in the Routes, a ballot of the relevant members will take place. The unfilled positions in the Routes are shown below:

 

 


Vacancies for Area H&S Committee Reps employed in Directorates outside of the Routes

Outside of the Routes an ad-hoc representative arrangement is currently in place at ‘Area’ level with no fixed or agreed numbers of reps.

Any nominations received from members in functions outside of the Routes will be accepted, and the individuals will be appointed on a ‘first come first served’ basis until it is deemed by the TSSA National Health & Safety Committee that there are sufficient TSSA reps on the functional Area Health & Safety Committees.

There are no Area H&S Reps in the ‘central functions’ (which includes Finance, Risk & Internal Audit, National Certification Body, Property, Corporate Communications, Legal, Corporate Services, Human Resources, Network Strategy & Capacity Planning, and the Chief Executive’s Office and EXCOM).

Members should note that these rep positions are open to all Network Rail staff in grades for whom TSSA has collective bargaining rights, including all Role Clarity Bands 1-8.

 


Why do Network Rail members need health and safety reps?

TSSA health and safety reps play a vital role in involving members in identifying the health, safety, wellbeing and welfare issues that members feel are important. The health and safety reps work together with members and other TSSA reps to effectively address those issues and ensure that Network Rail complies with the law and continually improves its management of health and safety.

There are a number of key issues related to health and safety that have been identified by Network Rail members. Excessive workload and a lack of adequate staff and other resources, especially for managers and supervisors, is leading to fatigue, stress and mental ill-health. Inadequate training and development exacerbates these problems, as does agile working and hot desking. Bullying is still a major problem.

TSSA health and safety are keen to drive forward the Planning and Delivery of Safe Work initiative aimed at improving track worker safety, but are also keen to address the fact that the associated processes and workloads for the staff involved along with inadequate resources are resulting in stress and fatigue, and are also encouraging bullying and other unacceptable behaviours.

All of these issues and problems are resulting in a continuation of the culture that encourages short cuts and work arounds, putting production needs before the health and safety of the staff.


The health and safety representative structure in Network Rail

TSSA elects local health and safety reps to represent workplace colleagues to local management in respect of health, safety and welfare matters, and to undertake inspections of the workplace, normally every three months. This is the ‘front-line’ – the reps that ensure that health, safety and welfare issues in Network Rail’s many and varied workplaces are identified and addressed.

At national level, the National Health, Safety and Welfare Council considers company-wide policies and principles related to health, safety and welfare across the whole of Network Rail’s businesses and employees. TSSA has three elected reps on this Council, two elected directly, and one from amongst the TSSA Lead Health & Safety reps.

Between the local and national levels, there are ‘Area Health & Safety Committees’. TSSA is represented on these bodies by between one and four TSSA reps. In the Routes they are specific to either ‘maintenance’ or ‘operations’. Some Area Health & Safety Committees cover a whole Route, while in the larger Routes there are several ‘Areas’. Some Area Health & Safety Committees meet together. These Area Health & Safety Committee reps meet with Route management to discuss Route or ‘Area’ wide health, safety and welfare issues, and the implementation of policies and agreements reached at national level.

Outside of the Routes, TSSA and Network Rail have agreed to establish ad-hoc Area H&S Committees for Route Services, Infrastructure Projects, Group Digital Railways and Safety Technical & Engineering.

For more information or to obtain a nomination form, members are asked to contact the TSSA National Health & Safety Team:

TSSA Lead Health & Safety Reps –
Mike Currah (michael.currah@networkrail.co.uk)
Paul Mangan (paul.mangan@networkrail.co.uk)
Des More (des.more@networkrail.co.uk)

or the TSSA National Health Safety and Welfare Council reps:
Bob Howard (robert.howard2@networkrail.co.uk)
David Griffiths (david.griffiths@networkrail.co.uk).

 

 

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