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Call for improved safety for rail workers

Posted in: Public Transport Workplace Injuries 

Ten years after an accident that took the lives of four men working on a railway line, a rail union has called for the safety measures of workers to be improved. The Rail, Maritime & Transport (RMT) said that not enough improvements have been made to protect workers following the accident that happened a decade ago, and that action must be taken now to prevent the accident from repeating itself. The men were killed by a runaway 16-tonne wagon on the West Coast Main Line at Tebay.

A memorial service was held on the 15th of February to mark the anniversary of the accident, it took place at a memorial stone off the A685. Network Rail said that they have made improvements to their wagons since the accident in 2004, with a spokesman saying that they had been fitted with “failsafe brakes”. RMT general secretary Bob Crowe, however, argued that despite these slight changes, working in the rail service is still a “dangerous environment” as privatisation has led to the use of too many contractors.

“No consistent application of safety standards”

The men killed were Gary Tindall (46) from Tebay, Chris Waters (53) from Morecambe in Lancashire, Colin Buckley (49) from Carnforth in Lancashire, and Darren Burgess (30) of Carnforth. Five other workers were injured in the accident.

Mr Crowe said: “Ten years on we still have a confusion of contractors and subcontractors … That means there is no consistent application of safety standards and no central line of command and communication.

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