Margam Report underlines need for Network Rail to work with unions says TSSA

Manuel Cortes TSSA General Secretary

TSSA today welcomes the accident investigation report into the Margam rail tragedy and calls on Network Rail to work jointly with rail unions on implementing the report's lessons and recommendations.

The Rail Accident Investigation branch (RAIB) has today published its report into the tragic events of Margam, near Port Talbot in South Wales, where two Network Rail workers lost their lives. On 3 July 2019, Network Rail (NR) maintenance workers Gareth Delbridge (who was 64) and Michael "Spike" Lewis (aged 58), were hit by the train travelling from Swansea to London Paddington. They were both killed.

TSSA is calling on Network Rail to work with the unions on implementing the 11 recommendations and two learning points contained in the RAIB report.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said: “Our union welcomes today’s report into the tragedy at Margam and the important lessons that must be learned from this terrible event.

“The awful loss of life at Margam affected so many across our rail industry, and our thoughts of course remain with Gareth and Spike’s family and friends.

“It is deeply saddening that the report highlights the fact that Network Rail failed to engage with concerns raised by our senior health and safety reps in the years leading up to the tragedy.

“Today’s report underlines the clear need for Network Rail and other rail employers to properly and fully engage with trade union health and safety reps, who are often subject matter experts. It also supports our view that much more needs to be done to address our union's concerns about management assurance processes arising from the recent ‘Putting Passengers First’ reorganisation.

“We recognise that since the incident, Network Rail has already started to address some of the report’s findings, but much more remains to be done. We will be seeking assurances from Network Rail that they will work with us to implement the recommendations within the report so that track working can be made safer for all.”

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