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Major rail health and safety agreement struck

8 May 2020

Our union along with sister unions and the rail industry, has struck a wide-ranging agreement on a set of principles for social distancing on our railways. These principles will be used to guide arrangements for changes or increases to services with the aim of reducing the spread of coronavirus.

TSSA has worked with sister unions – Aslef, RMT and Unite – in direct discussions with Government, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Office of Road and Rail around issues related to the health and safety of our membes. Our union has also, separately, been involved with the Railway Industry Coronavirus Forum (RICF), a body involving the rail unions, Network Rail and the passenger train operators.

In the Agreement, considerations about social distancing underpin any increase in services and the activities that may enable such a “ramping up” of rail services, covering activities such as:

the management of passenger flows in stations;

train maintenance;

in cab assessments;

ticket sales;

revenue protection activities;

the number of people riding in the same road vehicle.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said: “What has become clear to our union is that some employers have failed to take their health and safety obligations and responsibilities seriously. Consequently, our members have been exposed to additional risk, some have contracted the disease, and sadly some have died as a result.
Our union does not and will not tolerate employers playing fast and loose with our members’ lives, and we have taken action including the involvement of appropriate authorities, a theme repeated in this document.

“This is a landmark agreement. Our union believes that if employers observe the provisions of the Social Distancing Principles Agreement, the risks to our members will be minimised. It simply must be followed in every workplace.”

  RICF Social Distancing Principles RICF Social Distancing Principle

  RICF Letter on Social Distancing Principles 070520 RICF Letter on Social Distancing Principles 07 05 20

  Briefing Guidance Note on RICF Emergencey Working Principles Briefing Guidance Note on RICF Emergency Working Principles

  Reps Bulletin Consultation on Risk Assesment Reps Bulletin Consultation on Risk Assessment

  TSSA Guidance on RICF Social Distancing Agreement TSSA Guidance on RICF Social Distancing Agreement 

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