ASLEF Trains Health and Safety Council
SAFETY NOTICE - 01/18
Track Noise on LU
As drivers we have always worked in a noisy environment; however the situation appears to have recently worsened considerably across London Underground. Your THSC reps urgently raised this with management. LU conceded that their attempts to reduce noise levels for those living in close proximity to the railways, particularly in basements near to tube tunnels, has resulted in increased airborne noise within the tunnels affecting drivers and passengers alike.
Many of you will have seen the report on the BBC website stating that noise on the Underground could damage hearing. It is no coincidence that the areas with the highest recorded sound levels are also where we believe the new ‘Pandrol Vanguard’ rail has been installed. In addition we believe there is a more general issue of higher noise levels across LU which needs to be dealt with.
LU have always stated that sound levels are below legal limits and use that as a basis to not take any further action, however it has been identified that high noise levels are stressful to the body and we have asked that all drivers are offered hearing protection until LU find a solution to the track noise issue. We are still waiting to hear back from LU on this and therefore we will be asking for an urgent Director’s meeting to discuss the findings of the programme and what mitigation LU are putting in place until a permanent solution can be found..
It is not acceptable that LU seems to be putting the needs of those living in the proximity of the railway over that of their employees and we will be asking them to take urgent action before we are forced to take action ourselves.
Please continue to report areas of noisy track to management and your safety reps, we will provide an update following the meeting.