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Rail Safety Awareness for Construction Materials Industry

Rail Safety Awareness for Construction Materials Industry

Some of us remember TV ads from when we were kids telling us not to climb over fences by railway tracks, play ball games around tracks, fly a kite near overhead wires, and to be generally wary of railways. It makes sense to warn children not to go near railways when they are playing, but what about adults who have to be around railways in their work?

Such people include rail freight handlers, contractors with equipment near railway tracks and employees, workers at construction sites where materials are delivered by rail, and a long list of other employees whose work would be made safer by an increased awareness of safety around railway tracks and rolling stock. Over 40% of the construction materials used in London are delivered by rail, and millions of tonnes are transported annually around the UK. This represents a significant safety risk profile, and the Rail Freight Group, the UK’s leading representative body for rail freight, have welcomed a new training course aimed at rail safety awareness for the construction materials industry.

Provided by Mentor Training Solutions, Rail Safety Awareness Training was developed and is delivered by operations support specialists Victa Railfreight. The course consists of a classroom-based interactive theory session and a practical demonstration of correct practice when working on or near railway yards and sidings where building materials are offloaded. Courses can be delivered at the customer’s site or at various training locations around the UK.

The theory session includes an overview of the rail industry, hazard identifications, emergency situations, effective communications, personal responsibilities and safe working practices for train movements and loading and discharging rail wagons. Delegates receive a certificate and ID card on successful completion of the training. The course requires no prior qualification.

“With increasing volumes of aggregates and other building materials being delivered to construction sites by rail, this is an excellent time to launch a training course on rail safety for those working in the construction industry,” says Maggie Simpson, Rail Freight Group executive director.

 “We are delighted that the initiative, which came from RFG’s construction working group and is supported by the Mineral Products Association (MPA), has been taken up by some of our members and developed into an on-going series of training courses.”