On Track - Staying Safe

Featured story
In this podcast we look at track worker safety, and particularly at the work being done to reduce open line working.

My guest, Nick Millington, talks about the work of the Network Rail Safety Task Force, how much open line working has already been stopped, and plans to continue that reduction. We talk about the removal of lookouts, about night shift working and fatigue, what more possessions will mean for signaller workload, and the aspirations for more effective work planning.

Listen to the podcast

Topics in this episode include:

  • Nick introduces himself and describes his role in the railway.  [1:02]
  • Nick talks about the trends in numbers of near misses, and track worker fatalities, and the reduction in open line working.  [2:27]
  • Nick talks about the equipment and technologies that will replace lookouts when track work is needed, reduce the need for people to go onto the track to carry out inspections, and use various types of remote condition monitoring.  [4:30]
  • Nick talks about the job impact of removing the lookout competence and the new roles that will replace them.  About better protection for line blockages.  [8:07]
  • Nick talks about a new signaller workload assessment tool and dashboards that will enable better planning.  And about the continuing need for collaboration with operations staff to bring safe systems of work for all.  [10:20]
  • Nick talks about the increase of night shift working and its risks to wellbeing and fatigue; and how both day and night working are becoming better planned for greater efficiency.  [13:00]
  • Nick discusses the future plans for removing human lookout working and for better work planning.  For integrated signal-controlled protection and warning systems, and the search for innovations that will reduce other aspects of risk for those working on track.  [16:38]
  • Close.  [18:32]

Resources related to this episode:


RSSB podcasts cover a range of topics to keep you informed about things that will lead us all toward a better, safer railway. 'All our podcasts can be accessed from our podcast page.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Lead Content Manger for more information.
ant davey
Ant Davey
Tel: 020 3142 5407
Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.