The Leading Health and Safety on Britain's Railway (LHSBR) strategy brings the industry together to continually improve health and safety risk management and achieve the vision it has set out. Collaboration and sharing of knowledge through the risk groups will provide the greatest benefit to the industry as a whole.
LHSBR has identified 12 risk and 5 capability areas. To help the understanding and improvement of health and safety risk, industry has established a collaboration framework with national, sector, and regional arrangements.
At a national level, we have established cross-industry, risk groups focused on health and safety to lead and facilitate collaborative activity.
System Safety Risk Group and its subgroups consider the safety risks facing the industry. They lead the conversation on how these risks can be managed and mitigated.
Asset Integrity Group
The Asset Integrity Group last met on 10 March 2021
- CP6 LHSBR Roadmap endorsed
AIG reached a key milestone with the endorsement of its CP6 LHSBR Roadmap. The group agreed actions to move it forward. Sponsors and supporting volunteers stepped forward for each of the identified projects and have been tasked with providing a more detailed project outline by the end of April 2021.
- National Incident Reporting (NIR) online update
RSSB’s NIR Online project manager provided an update on the progress of the project, and outlined the envisaged project stages. AIG asked for a detailed description of the scope of work, indicative timescales, and an explanation for how it is to engage with industry, to be presented at the 12 May 2021 AIG meeting.
- Digital Competency
There was a facilitated discussion on the topic of Digital Competency. This topic was one of the work packages identified during the initial roadmap discussions.
- RAIB Cambrian Line Recommendations
Updates were provided on the RAIB Cambrian Line Recommendations 1 and 3 (Rec 1 & Rec 3). A series of podcasts have been recorded for Rec 3, and a Network Rail Safety Central page has been created. A project manager has been appointed for the Rail Industry Standard (RIS) project for Rec 1, and the project is progressing.
- RSSB support for AIG
Dr Emma Taylor, AIG Principal Strategy Implementation Manager, is moving to a new industry role. Alistair Kennedy has been brought in to progress the AIG roadmap and workplan whilst her replacement is being recruited. The AIG Chair thanked Emma for her contribution on behalf of the wider group.
Next meeting: 12 May 2021
Infrastructure Safety Leadership Group
The Infrastructure Safety Leadership Group last met on 28 January 2021.
- Sub-contractor Assurance Activities
Chris Hext, (SPL Powerlines) and Victoria Kieran, (Network Rail) shared the outputs from a recent joint review of sub-contractor management processes. The report identified areas of improvement across the industry and ISLG were asked to consider establishing a working group to produce best practice arrangements for the management of sub-contractors, and include the intent of Project ACE and SPEED along with the work that SHELT has been progressing.
- Management of Road Risk
Tavid Dobson, (RSSB) and John Tidyman, (TES 2000/ISLG Deputy Chair) presented an update on several road risk management initiatives including Driving for Better Business. To help address the strategic challenges under the LHSBR Road Risk section, ISLG representation is being sought for a proposed ISLG Road Risk Working Group which will be chaired by John Tidyman. A short survey is to be sent to all members for completion by 12 March 2021 to enable the results to be presented at the 25 March 2021 ISLG meeting.
- Line Blockage Irregularities
Greg Morse and Rob Sigrist, (RSSB) presented the latest round up of Operational Incidents and AMA figures on Near Misses, Isolation Incidents and Line Blockage Irregularities. It was noted that Line Blockage Irregularities due to Signaller Errors continue to be one of the main contributors to Line Blockage Irregularities. This is a risk that ISLG have no direct influence over but imports a risk to ISLG member activities. It was agreed this was escalated to SSRG and the ISLG Chair will contact Martin Biggin of Network Rail to seek an update on the Line Blockage Working Group activities.
- Network Rail Balanced Scorecard
Alan Taylor, (Story Contracting) shared evidence that the Network Rail Balanced Scorecard contains inaccuracies. Many ISLG members indicated a shared experience, and debated what, if any, benefits are realised from the balanced scorecard data. John Fitzmaurice, (Network Rail) agreed to investigate the issues raised and engage with ISLG members on ideas to improve/replace the current balanced scorecard activities. All members are asked to send in any issues they experienced with the Balanced Safety Scorecard so that a collective view can be established prior to the formation of a working group.
- Runaway Risk 019 Module 5
Following the publication of NR/L2/OHS/019 Module 5, Andrew Adams (ISLG Chair) updated the group on the Runaway Risk Groups future activities to support compliance. The membership raised concerns that the industry is not in a position to comply with Module 5 with the lack of warning systems being available. ISLG are looking at a joint response with M&EE Networking Group on issues for compliance.
Next meeting: 25 March 2021.
National Freight Safety Group
The National Freight Safety Group last met on 12 January 2021
- Samaritans support to the rail freight sector
The group welcomed a presentation by Samaritans representatives on how they support the rail industry, especially at the currently difficult time, and what support could be provided to the freight sector. An interactive session took place and members were encouraged to get involved in the various campaigns, especially the suicide prevention programme. The group were also encouraged to promote the Brew Monday event on the 18 January 2021.
- Collaborative work across the industry
A good level of collaboration was recognised across the freight sector highlighted in presentations during the meeting. There is still a real need to address the criticality of data quality which is vital in the sectors risk project work. The group were asked to consider and focus on continuous improvement for the workings of NFSG and the freight sector groups.
- Freight Derailment Prevention Group
This group is now fully established and providing monitoring on key data around Lateral and Longitudinal imbalances, WILD & LUCY data quality and track monitoring, the lead of the Freight Derailment Prevention Group is reporting progress findings and risks into the NFSG.
- Condition of Freight Vehicles on The Network (CFVN)
Progress has been made in support of the strategic activities, the approach has been endorsed by key rail freight stakeholders RSSB supporting the project work by assisting in data analysis, understanding asset integrity, and the Human Factors elements.
- Freight fatigue awareness
Freight Fatigue Awareness modules and facilitators’ guide have been produced and shared with FOCS for onward briefing within their organisation.Next meeting: 6 April 201.
Rail Freight Operations Group
The Rail Freight Operations Group last met on 18 March 2021.
- 10 Incident Factors
RFOG members are fully supportive of the 10 incident factors and would like to have further guidance on it. The group is keen to learn from GBRF’s experience of embedding this and the benefits realised. The need to use SMIS to record incidents was reiterated, and the group would like the NFSG to support the RSSB in making sure this happens.
- Freight Safety Improvement Programme (FSIP)
RFOG continue supporting the FSIP and working together on mutually beneficial ideas for safety initiatives, specifically the use of CCTV in the areas of forward-facing CCTV, bodycams for ground staff and reversing camera. RFOG would expect these three items to be progress as separate projects if the support came from NSFG.
- Health & Safety Inspections
Following a presentation by the ORR at the meeting highlighting serious health and safety incidents in yards, and the question 'we can see it so why can’t you?', members are supportive of making sure that their H&S representatives are committed to making yards and sidings as safe as possible. Culture and practices must be assessed and challenged by the management to ensure safety assessments and procedures are adequate and being followed at all times.
- Condition of Freight Vehicles on the Network (CFVN)
RFOG members fully support and acknowledge the work already done through the CFVN project. Members will continue to support this work and ongoing early efforts around train preparation. It is necessary to keep in mind the impact vehicles have on the infrastructure.
- Dangerous Goods Risk Ranking Tool
RFOG supports the use of the new risk raking tool for recording dangerous goods incidents. The group are keen to learn about the outputs and benefits of it as it can potentially be useful for other types of incidents.
People on Trains and at Stations Risk Group
The People on Trains and at Stations Risk Group last met on 11 February 2021.
- Canterbury East, Coroner's conclusions
Coroner’s inquest conclusions from Canterbury East station were presented by Colin Clifton (SouthEastern). Industry learning points: poor understanding of electrocution risks; standard platform signs do not impact or explain risks of trespass and review warning signage and wayfinding across stations. PTSRG invite a presentation from the Effective Signage to Prevent Trespass group to illustrate industry activity so far.
- E-scooter risk
A presentation was given by Katy Haylett (RSSB) on e-scooters risk, illustrating the emerging risk and background. Section 15 of the Railway Byelaws can be used by operators to enforce not using e-scooters on stations and platforms. Collaboration with key stakeholders is ongoing with a view to providing a consistent message in the industry.
- Safety performance
Passenger numbers continue to be impacted by COVID and lockdowns. Overall harm to passengers and the public roughly matched the previous 3 quarters figures and are still not close to pre-COVID levels. PTI injuries are elevated as a percentage of all injuries, compared to pre-COVID levels. Assaults reported in SMIS are elevated (near pre-COVID levels), despite a reduced number of passengers.
- Terrazzo flooring
Paul Dunne (West Midlands Trains) attended PTSRG to give a presentation on Terrazzo flooring issues that illustrated numerous incidents related to the flooring, some resulting in relatively serious injuries and personal injury claims. Causes related to inclement weather leading to slippery surfaces on the concourse and platforms, plus the inability to temperature control the environment, particularly at platform level leading to the floor “sweating” in warmer months. The issues have been addressed so far through cleaning solutions, use of mats, re-laying or overlaying flooring, however, costs are significant. The group discussed options to capture further industry data. PTSRG will recommend research to understand management strategies and create best practice.Next meeting: 13 May 2021.
Risk Management Capability Group
The Risk Management Capability Group last met on 3 February 2021.
- Human Factors
A new Rail Industry Guidance Note Application of human factors within safety management systems will be published in March. RSSB has a range of training courses and activities to help embed it and has raised awareness through HF-focussed editions of RED and Right Track. RMCG reviewed proposals to support safety culture improvement, which has been identified as a causal factor in recent accidents
- Managing safety-related contacts from members of the public
RSSB is producing simple question-based guidance that operators can use to review their current process and practice. This is based on outputs from recently completed research, which was triggered by learning from the Sandilands tram derailment.
- Measuring health and wellbeing
We’ve nearly finished work on the enablers for improving data on employee health and wellbeing collection and developing effective key performance indicators. RSSB is also continuing to pilot the new Health and Wellbeing Index (HWI), which allows health outcomes of different conditions to be combined and compared on a like-for-like basis.
- Measuring safety
A new approach to categorising injuries and calculating Fatalities and Weighted Injuries (FWI) took effect on 21 January. This aligns injury categories with current legal reporting requirements. The new SMIS Personal Accident form went live on the same day. This is part of ongoing work to make SMIS quicker and easier to use and improve data quality.
- Taking Secure Decisions
There is no mature and commonly accepted method for assessing safety and security risk together, nor a combined set of legislative requirements. RMCG reviewed the current landscape and options to improve coordination and cooperation between the safety and security assessment processes. It will be progressed in co-ordination with others working in this space, including the Asset Integrity Group.Next meeting: TBC.
The Road Risk Group last met on 28 January 2021.
- Industry Sector Road Risk Maturity
The RRG is pleased to report the positive progress all the rail industry sectors are making to establish their road risk collaboration arrangements. Each of the industry sectors now has a senior leadership sponsor in place, a commitment to the ORRM Charter and a sector road risk working group to support collaboration, the sharing and the implementation of the Driving for Better Business programme (DfBB).
- Industry RRG Working Group (RRG WG)
A rail industry RRG Working Group (RRG WG) is being set up to deliver the LHSBR ORRM roadmap activities, and to support each of the rail sector road risk groups to deliver their road risk activity programmes. RRG representatives are requested to promote and encourage active participation in both the RRG-WG and their own sector road risk groups.
- Registration to the Association for Road Risk Management (ARRM)
ARRM is a membership organisation for professionals and organisations involved in work-related road safety and the management of occupational road risk, collaborating with other organisations to promote innovation and share best practice. ARRM works closely with RSSB and Highways England in a strategic partnership to help the rail industry to meet the LHSBR Occupational Road Risk Management (ORRM) strategic challenges. ARRM will be hosting a series of webinars over the course of 2021 covering ‘Managing Road Risk within the law during Covid-19’ and ‘Managing Driver Fatigue’. If you are involved in the management of occupational road risk or have been appointed as your company road risk champion for DfBB, membership of ARRM is encouraged, which is free until 31 March 2021.
- Data capture into Safety Management Intelligence System (SMIS)
The importance of reporting incidents into SMIS, conducting appropriate investigations and recording the resulting actions into SMIS was reiterated. However, the RRG wish to raise awareness of understanding as to when an incident should be reported. This is key to sharing learning and knowledge across the industry. Without the detailed insights, the ability to continue reducing occupational road risk becomes more difficult.
- Annual Rail Industry Road Safety Week 13 to 17 September 2021
The 2021 Annual Rail Industry Road Safety week will be held between 13 and 17 September 2021 themed around “Fit for the Road”. The theme will cover driver’s health and wellbeing, fatigue management and the road worthiness of vehicles. The Police and Fire Service will be supporting the week along with resources from DfBB and ARRM. The RRG will actively promote and support the rail industry sectors to promote road safety and ensure the week reaches the right people across the rail industry. The RRG WG will be involved in creating promotional material for the week as well as using its contacts to raise awareness.Next meeting: 6 May 2021.
Suicide Prevention Duty Holders Group
The Suicide Prevention Duty Holders Group last met on 13 January 2021.
- Suicide Prevention Programme Board
In relation to the SPDHG tactical review, the group discussed renaming themselves to The Suicide Prevention Programme Board and involving the stakeholder group, RISSG, further in the programme’s work. The change will enable the membership of RISSG to be fully utilised and take a more pro-active role in the aims and projects of the Suicide Prevention Programme Board. With a broad membership base from a variety of rail and related industry backgrounds, it is hoped that allowing them to become more immersed in the agenda setting procedure will lead to a broader scope of work and activities with a wider focus.
- Dissuasion campaign
Following a small piece of pracademic research in 2020, a Dissuasion campaign will be launching in March 2021 with a second phase planned for September, timed to coincide with the traditional suicide ‘peaks’ on the network. The campaign wishes to encourage help-seeking behaviour in people who may be struggling with their mental health, before they reach the stage of a suicidal crisis. Both individuals with lived experience and James Bannerman, the author of the pracademic research, have had input into the campaign. For this campaign a mental health focused charity, ‘Chasing the Stigma’, have been partnered with and their ‘Hub of Hope’ app will be promoted as part of the campaign. The Hub of Hope app allows users to find and access the support that they need in their local area. As well as a film and the usual printed collateral, the campaign will have a full toolkit available for use at stations.
- Suicide Prevention Roadmap
A framework document, known as the suicide prevention roadmap, has been drafted to outline how the industry should work together to make the railway a better and safer environment. The roadmap sets out the agreed collaborative activity, which has been identified to improve performance and address the strategic challenges faced by the industry. It is hoped that the roadmap will provide a guide to the work being planned, enable focus to be maintained on the activities and strategies and provide opportunities for collaboration.
- Suicidal activity during lockdown
The Group was provided with an update from British Transport Police (BTP) on the suicidal activity during the lockdown period. Overall, there have been less suicides this year than at the same point in the previous year, however it is too soon to speculate on the reasons for this. During the first national lockdown, there was a significant decrease in activity but once the restrictions were eased, incidents started to increase. It is very hard to predict the factors that influence suicidal activity but areas showing marked changes are being analysed to hopefully provide some insight into the reasons for the changes. No recent suicides show that there is a link to COVID-19, but this is being continually monitored. There is also an awareness of the potential for the economic outlook to affect suicide rates in the future.
- Samaritans intervention reporting
Samaritans informed the group that they have plans to create a standard approach to interventions reporting based on best practice from across the rail industry. To accompany this, a pilot study with Transport for Wales is taking place to investigate why some interventions do not get reported and to discover why other organisations are very successful at capturing and reporting the same data. It is hoped that the results of this pilot study will provide learning outcomes that can contribute to an industry-wide best practice going forward.Next meeting: TBC.
Train Accident Risk Group
The Train Accident Risk Group last met on 9 February 2021.
- Review of TARG’s Risk Profile
The group reviewed the initial work on the revised risk profile, in comparison to their remit and current workplan. The group will be developing and validating this and confirming coverage with other industry activities and groups.
- Definition of TARG’s Data Essentials
TARG had a presentation from the Data Essentials team within RSSB on the work they are undertaking to improve insights from combining and analysing data to better manage safety. A subgroup of TARG will be created to help develop questions on behalf of industry on how topics around train accident risk can be covered by this work stream
- Review of TARG’s Revised Data Pack
The TARG risk analyst presented a revised data pack for the group to help better represent the risk areas which fall under TARG's remit. The aim of this is to better represent visually the data which TARG uses, ensure it covers the areas within TARGS remit and then guide and focus its industry leadership discussions.
- OPSRAM/TOSG Feedback
The group discussed feedback from recent OPSRAM's\TOSG's, this included seeking examples of collaborative working for removal of redundant stop car markers following the release of the new RIS and the frequency of occurrences of speeding through speed restricted areas. Examples of the former will be sought through other OPSRAM's/TOSG's and the latter will be raised through the task and finish group on over speeding.
- Alignment with TPSG
A presentation was made on the positive progress of the work on a train protection strategy for industry. The chair of TPSG attended TARG and will continue to do so, which will ensure this alignment and collaborative working continues around this topic.
Next meeting: 25 May 2021.
Trespass Risk Group
- Conference and Trade fair
A conference and first trade fair will take place on the 16 March 2021, showcasing the work that has been done over the last year on trespass mitigation. The group welcomed the news and will work together to make the most of it. The conference and first trade fair showcase great examples of good practice and new solutions to help the industry respond to the growing risk of trespass, including the response to the increasing number of trespassers with mental health issues, the new industry-wide risk assessment guidance plus emerging technology.
- Trespass Improvement Programme
The Trespass Improvement Programme is winding down at the end of March 2021, as per funding schedule, but activities will continue. Kathy Fucci was thanked for her work in making it a successful programme and ensuring the continuation of activities. The Trespass Road Map ensures the activities set out by industry are captured and will be updated accordingly.
- Suicide Trespass and Risk Behaviour Reduction (STaRR) Project
Nick Coad from Urban Control attended the meeting to present the Suicide Trespass and Risky Behaviour Reduction (STaRR) Project, which was supported by the group. The project aims to minimise disruption from antisocial behaviour using behaviour insights and new technology. A new behavioural framework has been developed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions in changing behaviour. Work continues to identify trial sites at a level crossing and a station platform end using lighting and speakers to detract from those wishing to trespass.
- Prosecution of Trespassers
A very enlightening presentation was provided by the BTP on prosecution of trespassers. The presentation provided concrete examples of BTP procedures and the results achieved. The group welcomed the reassurance that the information provided on offences being tracked and dealt with in a serious manner. More information and case studies on what BTP has done to address specific trespass including best practice can be found on the Case studies section of the dedicated trespass website. A link to the BTP report can be found here (SPARK login required).
- New Anti-Trespass Campaigns
A new summer adult campaign will take place focusing on raising awareness of the dangers present on the railway. Plus, a new film targeting the original You vs Train audience of 11-18 year olds, and their parents, will be launched on 16 March 2021. This continues the theme of showing the wider impacts of trespassing incidents – this time showing that a near-miss can have on train drivers. The new material will be pushed out on social media and the industry is asked to support in getting the anti-trespass message out.Next meeting: TBC
Rail Health and Wellbeing
The Rail Wellbeing Alliance and its subgroups consider the health and wellbeing risks facing the industry. They lead the conversation on how these risks can be managed and mitigated.
Rail Wellbeing Alliance
The Rail Wellbeing Alliance last met on 9 March 2021.
- Rail Wellbeing Live
The Rail Wellbeing Alliance is seeking sponsorship for the next Rail Wellbeing Live. Nine companies have confirmed sponsorship to date. The monthly programme of Wellbeing Wednesdays is continuing to see an increase in engagement, with January’s session on healthy habits achieving 606 live views and 205 on demand views. A new events manager, Jenny Wilson, will be joining the Rail Wellbeing Live team on 08 February 2021.
- Event for Senior Rail Leaders
The RWA will be hosting an online event for senior rail leaders on 28 May 2021 from 10:30 – 12:00. Its objectives are to get senior leaders interested in and excited about workforce health and wellbeing, to grow the Rail Wellbeing Alliance’s network of senior leaders who champion health and wellbeing, and to spread good practice across the industry.
- The Rail Wellbeing Alliance Strategic Plan
The Rail Wellbeing Alliance is creating a top-down strategic plan that provides an umbrella and direction for all tactical activities. This will be included in a plain English document, along with all its reporting groups’ plans.
The Rail Wellbeing Alliance’s senior leader’s quarterly briefing has been published. The Group is developing more dynamic communication channels and will be trialling the use of a LinkedIn group to develop its network and share good practice from across the industry. The group can be accessed through this link. The Rail Wellbeing Alliance’s subgroups will be running similar trials in the coming months.
- Health Data
The Business Engagement and Measurement group (BEAM) has had excellent engagement with their project to identify cross-industry health indicators, with 18 participating rail companies. The key performance indicators will be published at the end of March 2021 and will be followed by an implementation workshop to support uptake. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the Department for Transport (DfT) have expressed support for the work and the Rail Wellbeing Alliance will be seeking formal endorsement of the KPIs.The road testing of the Health and Wellbeing Index (HWI), which allows for tracking of health and wellbeing risk, equivalent to safety’s Fatalities Weighted Index (FWI), is continuing to progress well with all nine pilot companies confirmed. The report is anticipated in May 2021.Next meeting: 20 April 2021.
Business Engagement and Measurement Group
The Business Engagement and Measurement Group last met on 5 January 2021.
- Mental Wellbeing Survey
The Rail Industry Mental Health Survey closed on 23rd December. There will be a summary of findings and the methodology used at the next meeting of BEAM.
- Rail Wellbeing Live 2020
Feedback from the Industry Spotlight session on Health and Wellbeing in Business was presented to the group, which had over 300 participants. The feedback will be used to help shape relevant sessions for 2021.
- Implementation of the HWI Composite Indicator
Data from six companies have been analysed with more now participating. Challenges include; common definitions and wording, scope of data collection (work and non-work related), access to company data. The outputs will result in a library of case studies and learning which will be shared at the next BEAM meeting.
- T1239 - Industry Health and Wellbeing Performance Management System
The meeting received an update on this research project; interviews are currently being arranged and undertaken. Interviewee availability is sometimes limited by member time constraints.
- Healthy Cultures Framework Proposal
The group received a presentation on a proposal for developing and implementing a health cultures framework. Support from BEAM was requested to assist with building the business case for implementation.Next meeting: 6 April 2021.
Fatigue Coordination Group
The Fatigue Coordination Group last met on 5 March 2021.
- Roadmap for Fatigue Risk Management
The CP6 Roadmap for Fatigue Risk Management has been updated. Version 2.0 will be published shortly.
- Membership of FCG and subgroups
There have been changes in membership of FCG and the sector-based working groups.
- Dougie Hill (DRSL) has been selected as NFSG Chair for a second term. He will be stepping down as Chair of the NFSG FWG and will be replaced by Michael Jackson of DB Cargo.
- NFSG FWG has welcomed five new members to the group and now has representation from all freight companies in the industry.
- David Mulhall (First TransPennine) has stepped down as Chair of the TOC Fatigue Working Group. Dan Basacik has stepped in as interim Chair whilst the search continues for Dave’s replacement.
- The ISLG FWG has welcomed eight new members to the group.
- The three fatigue research projects are currently facing challenges but continue to have the support of FCG.
- The industry needs to be aware of the current and potential future impact of Covid-19 on employee levels of fatigue, and mental health.
- Network Rail is drawing up new contingent labour contracts. Their implementation will see far less focus on zero-hour contracts. Zero hours contracts make it difficult to adequately control fatigue risk related to working patterns.
Next meeting: 16 April 2021.
Healthy Cultures Group
The Healthy Cultures Group last met on 12 January 2021.
- T1209: observational analysis and stakeholder interviews are underway to research the influence of rail environment on health behaviours and employee wellbeing
Sally Wilson from the Institute of Employment Studies is leading this work with RSSB and gave an update on progress. Covid restrictions precluded fieldwork and a remote assessment tool has been developed which is providing robust data about the rail working environment. The observation and interviews phase is due to complete by the end of January with the project on schedule to deliver findings by end of Q1 2021.
- Resources have been developed to support engagement and frontline wellbeing
A modular approach to an industry-wide wellbeing champion training is being designed by RSSB. Development of this is next in the pipeline once the wellbeing resources above have been delivered.
- Wellbeing Champion Training is in design phase
A modular approach to an industry-wide wellbeing champion training is being designed by RSSB. Development of this is next in the pipeline once the wellbeing resources above have been delivered.
- 2021 Workplan has been reviewed
The group reviewed progress against the 4-year plan and agreed that the top 3 priorities continue to be: T1209 delivery and recommendation implementation, Wellbeing Champion Training and Type 2 Diabetes education and lifestyle support.
- Rail Wellbeing Live feedback reviewed
The group reviewed the performance statistics and comments from the 2020 event relevant to Healthy Cultures and started discussion around how to leverage this success in 2021 and ideas for future sessions.Next meeting: 20 April 2021.
Mental Wellbeing Group
The Mental Wellbeing Group last met on 13 January 2021.
- Rail Wellbeing Live
Feedback from the Focus on Mental Wellbeing session delivered at the Rail Wellbeing Live event, in November 2020, was shared with the group. The group will utilise feedback to develop relevant content for this year’s conference.
- Peer Support
In light of resourcing limitations, the group has decided that resourcing should be allocated to the research of peer support. Job design will be moved to 2022, should resourcing be available.
- T1213 Understanding the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Risks and Impacts of Lone Working to Rail Staff
The outputs from the T1213 project have been endorsed by the group. These comprised of a research report and three good practice guidance documents for different stakeholders (employers and HR, line managers and lone workers), and will be published in February/March 2021.
- Mind e-learning
Thanuja Kandasamy provided information regarding engagement with the MIND e-Learning training in the rail industry. The group will recommend alterations to the training, to come into place after May 2021.
- Mental Health Survey
Michelle O’Sullivan provided an update to the group regarding the mental health survey. Results will be available in July 2021 and RSSB will support a number of companies in implementing mental health initiatives in light of their survey results.Next meeting: 7 April 2021.
Musculoskeletal Disorder Group
The Musculoskeletal Disorders Group last met on 19 January 2021.
- Welcoming new members
The MSDG welcomes Alyna Jones of London and Southeastern Railway, Andrew Hudd of ASLEF and Tony Benneh of West Midlands Trains. These new members bring with them valuable experience, including cab design ergonomics, MSDs management policy and crossover representation on other RWA sub-groups.
- Rail Wellbeing Live, 2021
The MSDG received the highest number of delegates accessing their spotlight session (live and on demand). The group has reviewed the feedback from delegates, with the key take-away being the need to focus on practical, usable outputs that industry can take and implement, moving away from the educational aspect of MSDs. This will help inform the planning for our contribution to the 2021 event.
- MSDs policy
The MSDG discussed the absence of an independent ‘MSDs policy’ for the prevention and management of MSDs, including control measures, risk management and occupational health pathways. One group member organisation has been requested, by the ORR, to create such a policy to indicate commitment to good practice in this space. It was agreed that the MSDG should review this drafted policy once signed off. This type of policy will benefit the collection of case studies, because it will form the framework from which good practice can hang.
- MSD case studies
The group discussed the planned work at RSSB to collect case studies to develop the MSD webpages on RSSB’s website. As part of this process, the group discussed some of the types of information that could be captured to draw out good practice that can be shared. It was agreed that RSSB would work with industry to create one or two case studies in a standardised format, which can then be communicated out to group members and shared through our own channels, to collect more case studies following this approach.
- Quick wins: useful outputs
The MSDG discussed the importance of producing quick wins over the next year. How do we reach out to people that don’t have immediate access to RSSB materials or Rail Wellbeing Live content, due to the nature of their job. It was agreed that this will be the focus of our work this year as we collate case studies and look to refine a MSDs policy template.Next meeting: 27 April 2021.
Occupational Health Advisory Group
The Occupational Health Advisory Group last met on 6 January 2021.
- OH in rail course: accreditation and development
The group were updated on progress for finding a suitable academic partner to accredit the course, so it offered a qualification option as well as CPD points for the hours of study undertaken. Good progress was reported in discussions with a high-ranking university who provided positive feedback on the quality and academic level of the proposed course and are willing to proceed with further discussions on possibly fitting the course into their existing MSc in occupational health or as a standalone offering.A learning and development consultant will work with a group of OHAG volunteers and external OH rail professionals to transform the existing curriculum/syllabus, module handbooks and other learning content into final drafts of the trainers’ pack by the end of March 2021, after which it will be piloted.
- OH response to the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine
OHAG were asked to give the group’s views on the role of OH in supporting the COVID-19 vaccination programme. OH often offered flu vaccinations and sometimes other vaccines for work purposes but vaccination is not a core activity for rail and requires extra training, facilities and governance processes than core services.The group felt the needs of the industry and employees would be best met through OH focussing on compliance with statutory medicals to avoid certificates expiring, and for supporting industry resilience and recovery from the pandemic through manager referrals and case management. OH could support the vaccination programme through encouraging vaccination for the workforce and by considering volunteering in their local communities. If there is a request for support from Government to support the vaccine roll-out, OHAG will collaborate with the Covid Vaccine Working Group to establish a plan.
- Rail Wellbeing Live - nearly 1500 delegates for occupational health
The group were thanked and commended for their contribution to the inaugural 2-day event which had over 13,000 registered delegates. OHAG were pleased at the success of the event and felt they would participate in future events.Several sessions were delivered under the occupational health banner showcasing OHAG’s contributions. These included panel discussions on the impact of COVID-19 on the railway attracting 1110 delegates and a main-room ‘Spotlight on occupational health’ session that attracted 203 delegates - double the number of delegates at RSSB’s previous health and wellbeing conference. Workshops on drugs and alcohol testing (54 delegates) and managing complex medical outcomes (89 delegates) reached many more delegates than anticipated.
- Long term effects of COVID-19
The group discussed a request for information from the HR Directors Forum on how possible employee reports of ‘long-COVID’ are managed. Their initial views were that existing company policies on procedures for managing absence and supporting employees with health conditions could still be applied in these cases and that OHAG will follow medical developments to see if this may change as more evidence emerges.The group advised that most people will recover from coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) infection in a few weeks from the time of infection and many have no symptoms at all. Some take a little longer but still recover, however a few may experience serious complications such as specific organ damage, autoimmune reactions and so-on, which doctors can identify and treat. Some people have longer term unexplained post viral symptoms without any identifiable alternative diagnosis, known as post-COVID-19 syndrome. All of these different outcomes are recognised to occur with other viruses as well and doctors will assess each patient individually. The term “long COVID” is unhelpful and implies the existence of a specific disease entity, which is unlikely to be the case. NICE have published a guideline aimed at healthcare workers which covers return to work issues, and there is also a NHS web site with information and support for patients recovering from COVID-19 infection, including managing persistent symptoms following COVID-19 infections.
- Research and development update
The group were given a short summary paper outlining two relevant RSSB research reports; one on pregnancy for safety critical workers and a second on colour vision testing methods. As both topic areas for this research are of significant interest to the industry operational community as well as OH, they will be brought back for more in-depth discussion and action planning at the next meeting.Next meeting: 14 April 2021.
Occupational Hygiene Management Group
The Occupational Hygiene Management Group last met on 20 January 2021.
- Introduction to the Sponsor for OHMG
Mick Rayner, Managing Director, Balfour Beatty Rail Limited, introduced himself to the group as the sponsor for OHMG. Mick advised he has been in the industry for over 40 years and has seen great improvements for the workforce during this time due to the evolution of health and safety. The work of OHMG will be part of this continuing evolution. The role of sponsor is to help open doors to the work of the group in occupational hygiene across industry and push through barriers with the leverage of the Rail Wellbeing Alliance, using their influence in the industry.
- Occupational Hygiene Management Strategy
The group has been working on the Occupational Hygiene Management Strategy and it is continuing to be refined by working on the clarity of its structure and highlighting key activities, to ensure it will assist those that would be using and deploying it.
- Case studies
The group decided that as there will be a time-lag before the application of the Occupational Hygiene Management Strategy that existing case studies, demonstrating good occupation hygiene strategies, including indicators of improvements, would be a positive way to engage with the industry and provide assistance to the industry now.
It was agreed that there is a requirement for clear communications from OHMG to the wider industry to ensure that deliverables and how to deploy them are fully understood and impactful. The RSSB Communications team will be asked to assist with the aim to publish engaging, inspiring, and humanising communications to promote awareness industry-wide.
- 4-year workplan
The group is actively planning for the work it can achieve over the next four years and OHMG are thinking about it as a team operationally. The group is not frightened to step into uncomfortable areas. For example, data management guidance is a large ongoing issue, however, the group actively discussed what is needed, the various issues around it, and what work could be considered for the future. The 4-year plan will be reviewed regularly to ensure its aims are achievable.Next meeting: 28 April 2021.
Most of these groups are managed and hosted by RSSB, with meetings generally being held quarterly. Membership of each specialist risk group comprises a cross-section of industry with expertise relevant to the group’s remit. Members are listed on the relevant group pages along with details of how to contact the groups.