Health and safety

Campaigning for higher health and safety standards at work, and opposing the employers' shortcuts

Victoria Line Drivers Vote for Action over Safety

RMT General Grades Committee decision:

That we note the result of the ballot for ‘action short of strikes’ is as follows:-

Total votes cast: 45
Number voting “Yes”: 33
Number voting “No”: 12
Spoilt Papers: 0

We congratulate our members on their 73.3% majority vote to take action to defend their safety at work. We note that Finsbury Park branch will discuss this at its branch meeting tomorrow. Once the branch has given its recommendations for action, this matter to be placed back of us.

Management Of Charing Cross Flooding Came Close To Ending In Disaster

TUBE UNION RMT today demanded an urgent review of safety procedures and an assurance that crucial lessons have been learnt after an internal report into the flooding of Charing Cross station by water from the Trafalgar Square fountains two weeks ago revealed that the incident almost ended in disaster.

Victoria Line drivers: Vote Yes for Action over Safety at Work

To all Train Operators and Instructor Operators on the Victoria Line, from Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary:

Dear Colleagues,


Further to my letter dated 27th January 2011 regarding the issues over Sensitive Edge Activation, a number of other issues have been bought to my attention concerning the Victoria Line Upgrade. The General Grades Committee has considered this matter and taken the decision to ballot all Victoria Line Train Operator members for industrial action short of a strike with a view to protecting you from being forced to work unsafely and unfairly blamed for accidents.

Derailment Caused By Crumbling Infra-structure And Staff Shortages

TUBE UNION RMT today demanded an immediate halt to staffing and maintenance cuts as an investigation report revealed that crumbling infra-structure and staffing cuts led to a potentially-lethal tube derailment last year.

The derailment happened between Earl's Court and Gloucester Road on the Piccadilly line at 5.30am on 12 May 2010. The train consisted of two locos, two wagons and a track machine.

RMT to Ballot Victoria Line Drivers over Health and Safety Issues

General Grades Committee decision:

That we note the resolution from our Finsbury Park branch and accept its proposal. We therefore instruct the General Secretary to conduct the ballot of our Victoria Line driver members for action short of strikes as soon as practical, with the title “Breakdown of machinery of negotiation: Victoria Line upgrade safety and training issues”.

DISI - Defective in Service Instructions

RMT General Grades Committee decision on DISI:

That we note and accept the report from our lead officer for London Underground. Accordingly, we instruct the General Secretary to issue as soon as possible a circular with the following wording:

RMT is completely opposed to section 2.2 of version 3 of the D.I.S.I. that states “Generally the train operator will be the most appropriate person to assess the defect. However in some cases the controller may decide to arrange for somebody else to attend the train and carry out the assessment.”

Health and Safety Conference report

Val Barzey of RMT's LU Engineering branch reports on the RMT Health & Safety Advisory Conference held on 16 February:

Greg Hewitt – Chair

Greg commented that the HSE is more an Advisory body than Regulators. The aim of the government is to lift the burden of Employment laws. They intend to reduce the no. of regulations, attacking workers rights. H & S inspections have been cut across the board, inadequately enforcing the law and there has been a reduction in enforcement notices. There were 69% reduction in full inspections and 48% reduction in prosecutions.

There were 2 reviews carried out last year, Vince Cable reducing regulations and the Lord Young Review of the operation of H & S laws and the growth of the compensation culture – Common Sense Common Safety.

RMT warns of more tube chaos as LU cut safety-critical inspections by half

TUBE UNION RMT warned of more tube chaos for passengers as it emerged that as part of the TfL cuts programme the frequency of safety-critical inspections is being slashed from twice a week to once a week.

In a safety licensing concession requested by LU the twice weekly inspection of track and infrastructure in sidings and depots will be cutback to just once a week. These inspections are in the areas of highest traffic anywhere on the network with fleet constantly being shunted in and out.

Health and safety week parliamentary rally

Assemble 12.30pm College Green, opposite the Houses of Parliament

Current Health and Safety legislation and enforcement is failing to protect workers. 152 people were fatally injured at work in the last year and there were over 26,000 major injuries. The ConDem government is threatening to make things even worse by diluting health and safety standards and slashing the funding of the Health and Safety Executive by 35 per cent.