Health and safety

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

Tube Fleet Maintenance Staff To Be Balloted For Action as London Underground Doubles Time Between Crucial Safety Inspections

TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that it is preparing a ballot for action of all tube fleet maintenance staff following an announcement by London Underground that they plan to double the length of time between safety-critical train inspections from 14 days to 28 days.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “Hardly a day goes by now without TfL and LU getting caught out playing fast and loose with staff and passenger safety. These fortnightly inspections identify worn brake blocks, cracks in securing brackets and other distressed components. Moving these inspections to monthly is literally dicing with death in the interests of saving money.

Tube bosses back RMT fears over safety by admitting that cuts mean services are running on infrastructure dating back to 1920's

AFTER MONTHS of accusing tube union RMT of scaremongering over the safety impact of cuts on London Underground, tube bosses this morning put their hands up and admitted that the cuts mean that services are running on dangerous and rotten infrastructure dating back to the 1920's with worse to come in terms of the risks to millions of passengers as the Government lines up further attacks on the TFL budget and the tube upgrade programme.

RMT underground members begin balloting today for strike action across the entire network over jobs and safety cuts.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

Wembley Central station stand firm for safety in the workplace

The new Health & Safety rep on the Wembley Central Group, Alan Foster has raised the issue of places of safety for staff on the gateline. On London Underground the standard place of safety is the GLAP. But when LU took over the control of the silver link stations north of Queens Park in 2007 none were put in. Management were quick enough off the mark to bring in gate lines to maximise revenue but the safety of the staff working the gate lines was deemed secondary.

Survey Suggests LGBT People Feel Unsafe on Public Transport

Research by several organisations across London has found that LGBT people fear for their safety on public transport including the tube and that there is a higher incident of assault - both verbal and physical - on public transport than there is in other public areas.

The British Transport Police state ‘For passengers, feeling safe is as important as being safe. The visible presence of rail staff, PCSOs and police officers can reduce the fear of crime dramatically.’

With these figures showing how LGBT people feel about travel on the underground, it should be considered that many LGBT people will feel more at risk of assault on the underground as staff cuts will inevitably mean the reduction of staff visibility.

Resolution to Regional Council: Operational Refresher Training

The following resolution, submitted by Finsbury Park branch, was carried unanimously by the July meeting of the Regional Council ...

This region calls on the national union to hold a conference of all grades within the LTRC to discuss significant concerns our members have regarding the reduction and quality of our operational refresher training. We believe this is an attack on the value of our jobs and on safety.

Station Staff Survey: Short-Staffing On London Underground

The RMT London Transport Region is collecting stories of working alone or with too few staff on London Underground stations. You can complete the survey by clicking go to form below.

You can leave your name and email address, which will be kept entirely confidential and will allow us to contact you for more information. You can alternatively leave these blank if you prefer.

Companies and grades: 

Safety During the Tube Lines Dispute

Click '1 attachment' / file name to download this as a single-sided leaflet.


Many Train Operators expressed concerns over safety during the recent Tube Lines strike. A lot of drivers believed that safety standards were not up to scratch. Some drivers believed that they had been given assurances during previous similar situations, that had turned out not to be true.

Track Maintenance:

TUBELINES STRIKE - Arnos Grove drivers refuse to work on grounds of safety

More than 50 drivers at Arnos Grove on the Piccadilly line refused to drive trains during the recent strike by Tubelines staff, despite a ferocious offensive by management to bully drivers onto trains. Local reps challenged management's claims that qualified Emergency Response Unit (ERU) staff were working normally and pointed out that LUL was refusing to provide our union with details of those alleged to be working and of their competencies and qualifications.

Read the full story by clicking on the attachment below.

Refusal to work because of serious and imminent danger (Emergency Response Unit)

From Steve Hedley, RMT Regional Organiser

Dear colleagues,

I wrote to Gerry Duffy, Director of Employee Relations yesterday because of serious safety concerns that have led many drivers to refuse to work on safety grounds. Amongst the drivers concerns are the absence of Emergency Response Unit staff who cover the whole network and signalling technicians who cover the Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines.