Posted 8th January 2009 | No Comments

Recommendations get 97% take-up, says new report

RAIB chief inspector Carolyn Griffiths

NINETY-seven per cent of recommendations made by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch have been acted upon by the rail industry, says RAIB chief inspector Carolyn Griffiths in a new report.

“Whilst the RAIB is a very new organisation it has rapidly established itself in the industry, and the fact that 97 per cent of our recommendations have been implemented indicates that the industry believes them beneficial to safety.”

The RAIB carried out 24 investigations into national network accidents and incidents in 2007, the details of which have now been published in its 2007 report.

Five national network train derailments caused no injuries, but of seven investigations begun, the Grayrigg accident involving a Pendolino was the most serious, causing the death of a passenger.

Reports were published on two train door incidents, in one of which a passenger escaped serious injury after being dragged between a departing train and the platform by his coat caught in the door. The other involved an express train door that came open while travelling at high speed.

Mis-communication during engineering possessions was held responsible for a collision between two on-track machines which injured some of the crew, along with two further near-misses.

Five investigations were into staff accidents – one involving the death of a shunter, another that of a driver. But only one Spad – signal passed at danger – incident had to be investigated.

Eight reports into accidents and incidents on the country’s tram systems were published, the most serious of which was a collision between two trams, after which 13 passengers were taken to hospital. One report was published on a collision between a tram and a road vehicle containing two people. The tram driver had failed to stop at the crossing signal.

Metro system incidents led to four investigations, while accidents on heritage railways led to 10  – at 21 per cent of the national rail total, disproportionate to the sector’s size.

Despite the low speeds involved, one volunteer worker was killed – a stark reminder that even the smallest railway can involve high risk.