Saturday, December 01, 2007

How the railways work

The Longrider on Health and Safety procedures on the railway; go and read the whole thing, but here's the money quote.
From the assessor’s point of view, he saw what he needed to see; the COSS set up and withdrew a safe system of work. I saw what I needed to see; the assessor planned and completed a competent assessment on the COSS. There was just one thing missing...

... there was no actual work carried out...

None of this surprises me any more; I'm just astonished that anything gets done, ever...

1 comment:

Longrider said...

I thought you might appreciate that. Nothing changes, unfortunately. The industry is so riddled with bureaucracy and a culture that has become so risk averse that it is becoming paralysed. The job I quoted was a quick in and out job that could have been completed in under an hour, giving up the block for the passage of trains.

That said, another track worker was killed this week. This tells me that despite the rules and the paperwork, the systems are failing. What is needed is a thorough overhaul and a simplification of those systems so that workers at the sharp end don't have to memorise lots of complicated rules or fill out reams of paperwork.

It would make my job simpler, too.