ORR have released their annual health and safety report which covers the period between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2022. The report highlights Britain’s standing of having one of the safest railways in Europe and the risk on the mainline railway is at an all-time low.
Concerns remain however about recent accidents and near misses, and the need to strengthen safety management and oversight following the pandemic.
The regulators report records that there was a 98% reduction in red zone unassisted lookout working since July 2019 and this year there were no track worker fatalities on the mainline railway. The moving annual average (MAA) of track work related near misses fell by 70%
ORR is now satisfied that Network Rail has complied with both of the track worker safety improvement notices issued in July 2019.
However, there were two serious accidents to track workers both in May 2021, one of which a result of contact with overhead lines. These accidents prompted ORR to take enforcement action requiring Network Rail to improve the way it demarcates and proves dead overhead line isolations.