Plans for ‘Flash & Dash’ put on hold.
Management’s plans to remove detrainment staff, due to take place in May, have been put on hold after THSC Reps disputed this action at a Directors meeting held on the 28th June.
LU believes they can improve the passenger experience by removing detrainment staff from a number of reversing locations and putting them to better use elsewhere. Another motive is to increase service levels by removing the requirement for detrainment staff or drivers to check their trains before reversing – the return of ‘flash & dash’.
This ‘service over safety’ culture is not acceptable to ASLEF and we made it very clear to LU that we will take all steps available to resist this change.
Management have gone away to look at technical solutions to the issue such as walkways on the outside of trains. Another meeting will take place in a month or so.
Safety Critical Briefings for Staff
Since the debacle of the ‘Active Shooter’ and more recently the ‘WHAT’ safety guidance, we demanded that LU improve their delivery of safety briefings to staff. It has become clear that there is nothing in LU’s management system to ensure that their staff are correctly briefed in safety critical issues. This has resulted in a ‘tick box’ culture where management are happy for drivers to sign on the dotted line.
Further we pointed out to management that there is nothing in their management system that verifies whether the information provided to drivers has actually been understood.
LU provided us with a draft flow chart, but we pointed out a number of shortcomings and they have taken our feedback away and agreed to another meeting to discuss improvement to the process.
We also advised LU that there is a lack of resource in rosters for safety critical briefings (team talks) and this needs to be addressed.
One issue we did agree on is that when a need for a safety critical briefing is identified, the method of the giving out this information will be agreed before the information is delivered. This will hopefully provide consistency in briefings across LU rather than being up to whim of a local manager.
Keep a zip on it!
Following a number of meetings on this subject our District Organiser has made it clear to management that drivers will not be unzipping and delving into any bags as part of the HOT procedure! It was also made clear that this position was one that applies across the UK Rail network and not just on LU.
Water chillers latest
The issue of the removal of the water chillers was discussed with the Safety Director last Tuesday.
Yet again on the way to this meeting at LU HQ as we walked
through the corridors we came across a newly installed water chiller, placed right next to a kitchen with running tap water. It is clear we are certainly not “all in this together”.
We asked the two Directors present to make a commitment at the meeting that water chillers would be restored to where they were located previously to ensure that their safety critical staff were treated in the same way as management and office staff at head office buildings. They were unable to give this commitment at the meeting but agreed to review the issue and report back to us this week.
Grenfell Tower Tragedy
The Grenfell Tower tragedy is a clear indication of what can happen when genuine safety concerns are ignored, safety laws are relaxed and Health & Safety red tape is seen as a ‘burden to business’. The THSC hope that this tragedy will end the current culture where H&S law is seen as restrictive, unnecessary and where profit is put before safety.
Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends.
Mark McMullen 07764 997 412
Julian Vaughan 07593 091 378
Jason Wyatt 07791 935 874
Marc Tanner 07876 564 366
You can download this update as a PDF for depot note cases here.