Frontline Staff: The Power of Your Voice

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Whether you report concerns openly, or with confidential reporting, your voice can make a difference.

Operational workers are the eyes and ears of the railway frontline: you see a lot that others might miss. You might be in the right place on the network at the right time to spot a hazard or a potentially serious safety concern, or your skill set might mean you can identify issues that others can’t. Our life experiences also influence what we notice and recognise as issues. Each of us has a unique perspective to offer. 

By taking the time to speak up, you will make sure nothing gets missed that could develop into a serious incident or accident, or which could lead to safety improvements for colleagues, passengers and the wider public.

There are different ways to speak up. It’s your choice. What really matters is that you do speak up. Your employer – and the wider rail industry – wants to hear your concerns so that they can investigate and take action for a safer railway. Employers offer different internal channels you can use.

You might not be comfortable using these channels, perhaps because of negative experiences when you spoke up before in previous jobs and industries. Fear of potential repercussions, or of how a manager or colleagues might react, might also make you reluctant to use your voice. Or maybe you just don’t feel you can speak openly about your concern for another reason.

CIRAS offers an alternative – a confidential reporting service. Raise your concerns and CIRAS will pass them, confidentially, to the relevant company so that it can act without knowing who you are. You can raise concerns through CIRAS for any company – not just your employer. CIRAS will share the company’s response and actions with you, so you will find out what happened because you decided to do the right thing and speak up.

From potential hazards, equipment issues and trespass hotspots, to processes not working as intended or a working culture that encourages people to work in an unsafe way, you can share any health, safety or wellbeing concern through CIRAS. It’s just not to be a real-time risk and should not relate to a specific person, such as a grievance.

Remember: if you see something that’s unsafe, you have a choice – to speak up or say nothing. If you speak up, you could save lives. So do the right thing, not the easy thing.

You can see how others have used CIRAS on CIRAS’ website and in the Frontline Matters newsletter. If your employer is a CIRAS member, you can register to the website to view all reports.

To use CIRAS, raise your concern using the online form, or call 0800 4 101 101, text 07527 285 887 or mail Freepost CIRAS.

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