Trains Health and Safety Council update 02/04/2020
Ad-hoc THSC meeting update
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, weekly conference calls are taking place between LU and Tier 2 H&S Reps to discuss the many issues that are arising. Below is a quick update from yesterday’s meeting.
· The issue of the application of anti-viral solution in the driver cabs was discussed. Although LU gave us assurances that all serviceable train cabs had been treated with the new disinfectant LU fleet management are still refusing to show a reassurance indicator to drivers by putting a sticker in the cab or a note on the TAS sheets informing when each unit was treated. Both unions insisted if this indication to drivers was not forthcoming then the matter would be escalated to directors’ level.
· Whilst most unnecessary meetings have been cancelled staff side insisted Tier 1 meetings continue via conference calls as they are vital to local H&S machinery. Management didn’t see an issue with this but would take away to confirm. We also insisted that quarterly general inspections continue and again management didn’t see an issue but would confirm as soon as possible.
· Although guidance had been produced and shared, management said due to station side raising issue they could not finalise it yet, we insisted that action happen soon as T/OP’s need to know what actions to take.
Social Distancing in Canteens
· Staff side raised concerns over use of canteens regarding safety and hygiene with cutlery and crockery, management have issued suggested guidance to Sodexo, it will be down to them to manage but all person’s using this facility should use common sense with regards to one’s Health and Safety.
Touch point cleaning
· We again insisted that the cab ‘touch point’ cleaning guidance and pictorials that fleet use are distributed to drivers as this would give some assurance of what in the cab environment is actually being cleaned with the new disinfectant. We also insisted they include the handset mouthpiece and seat adjuster. Management agreed to chase and share, some lines have already had them, when we receive others, they will be shared with the local line representative for them to distribute.
For reference, the cab ‘touch points’ are wiped with new disinfectant and saloon cars sprayed with Guardisan.
· Hand gel will still continue to be provided when stocks become available. These will be delivered to train crew depots and are for train operators ONLY!
Booking on points
· These will be reviewed to accommodate social distancing and notices displayed to remind drivers not to congregate.
Daily PTI in-cab checks
· The company are legally obliged to carry this inspection out especially as it’s the number one safety risk for passengers.
The suggested alternative to assist this process has received negative feedback so management have taken this away to look at and will decide what approach they will implement, after all it’s their responsibility not ours to manage and maintain.
Masks and gloves
Drivers will be aware that many passengers who board their trains are wearing face masks and some governments in Europe are now insisting that people wear them in certain locations. As we are now advised to assume everyone is carrying the virus and we are told masks do help on stopping infected people spread it, we made a further request for both face masks and gloves to be provided to those who request them. Management agreed to look into this again.
While ASLEF understand the importance of our role in enabling key workers get to and from work, reducing the risks to our members while undertaking their duties is paramount. The situation is constantly changing, please continue to raise concerns with your local management and H&S representatives.