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RIP : Resting In Pieces
(The Cess - An Obituary)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of the on-track worker’s best friends - one who has served them steadfastly for many years. Due to total mismanagement and lack of due care towards its staff and contractors, Network Rail has let the cess fall into such a poor state that it is no longer fit for any safety purpose.

A typical cess today - obstructed by weeds, ballast and furniture.

Over its long and distinguish career, the cess has helped trackworkers to work well and brought about an increase in productivity, but it also fulfilled its most valuable job of making sure staff could work and walk safely in all weather conditions.

In daylight and during darkness, it was always the ever-ready position of safety. But over the years it has fallen foul to the needs of others who seem to regard safety as a secondary thing. The cess has been used for ballast tipping, cable runs, scrap disposal, overhead line stanchions and drainage, as well as being left to the ever-encroaching buddleias and brambles.

While the lads and lasses walk in the four-foot to gain access to their worksites and the COSS tries in vane to find a position of safety, the office-bound ‘experts’ failed to see the positive aid to safety that the cess was and did everything they could to wipe it from the infrastructure forever. Only on-track workers seem to understand its true safety value and they, sadly, will be the ones who pay the price for its demise. ‘experts’ failed to see the positive aid to safety that the cess was...

Accountants now make most of the important decisions in the railway industry and the so-called safety professionals stand by and let them.

Story added 1st May 2011

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