Trains Health and Safety Council Newsletter - XTP: Management shamed

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HMRI have written to LU raising serious concerns about the safety of the Cross Track Projection system (XTP). The railway inspectorate has told LU what your safety reps have been telling them for the past 6 months: that XTP is a distraction to drivers and is just not safe! When this system was first consulted upon, CBS gave assurances to safety reps that the system would turn off before the train entered the platform. A catalogue of lies, excuses and U-turns later, we are in the position where by the projector stays on constantly in many locations. This, as we have told LU management many times, causes a serious distraction to the driver at a time when they should be concentrating on the PTI, the combine’s greatest risk. As our concerns have been ignored we can only assume that the revenue received outweighs any risk involved.

The concerns raised in the shaming letter are:

  • A CBS document entitled ‘Overview and Trial Observations’ makes reference to a questionnaire that was given to drivers asking about ‘dazzling.’ Many drivers claimed distraction. HMRI claim that it is ‘unacceptable’ that operators experience distraction during operation.
  • The Human Factors assessment carried out at Piccadilly Circus n/b is, claim the HMRI, contradictory! The report is not specific to the site, does not address specific risks and the diagrams do not reflect the structure of the station. HMRI go on to question the validity of the report. Do LU even know where Piccadilly Circus is?
  • HMRI question the figures that LU has used when calculating the risk of a person being struck by a train. The figures, they claim, are misleading.
  • The report accepts that external vehicle distraction is a serious risk factor in accidents and more importantly that video advertising could be a distraction to drivers. Yet the report concentrates on drivers and their driving technique instead of what the risk is and how to reduce it. HMRI claim that this ‘perpetuates the worrying trend of duty holders passing the responsibilities of safety onto their employees.’ In other words, they import the risk and we take all the blame!
  • HMRI then go on to quote the ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations1999 to LUL. The obvious advice that risks should be avoided, if they cannot, the work should be avoided or the problem engineered out. This has clearly not happened with the XTP system. Money talks!
  • Finally, The Inspectorate goes on to claim that LU appear more concerned with the picture quality of XTP that actual faults that will cause distraction.

Make no mistake, this is a damning assessment of the way LU manages risk and the contempt it holds for our safety and that of the travelling public. The RMT will be demanding an emergency meeting with LU, yet again, and be insisting that if this system does not do what we were initially told it would do then it should be turned off until a solution to the problem can be found. In the meantime, report all faults to management and your local safety rep immediately

Contact the Safety Council
Jim McDaid – 07834 117378
Garry Houghton – 07834448956
Dave Rayfield – 07753 878933