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The bleeding obvious

In the middle of the night on 14th October 2008, a maintenance worker tripped and fell on an embankment, suffering serious injuries. Four days later, having called upon their wealth of insightful knowledge, Network Rail's gurus issued Safety Bulletin IGS181 - one of the most outstanding and imaginative backside protection exercises ever commissioned.

We thought about including it in our new awards but that would have been unfair to the other entries - IGS181 would have completely swept the board. Instead we have created a series of special gongs just for it.

The Award for
Helpful Enlightenment
Winner: Bullet Point 1

"Always wear your safety footwear with the laces done up and secure"

The judges felt that this edict was a worthy successor to "don't forget to keep breathing" and "avoid placing your head on the running rail when a train is approaching".

The Award for
Blissful Ignorance
Winner: Bullet Point 2

"Always use designated walking routes to access your site of work"

The judges felt that this edict demanded a remarkable lack of knowledge about today's railway infrastructure and highly commended it. There have been no walking routes along the top of embankments since the industry launched its 'tip-and-go' initiative shortly after privatisation, followed by a vegetation cultivation programme.

The Award for
Genetic Engineering
Winner: Bullet Point 4

"At night or in failing light, use personal lighting..."

The judges welcomed Network Rail's development of the light-emitting nostril which is much more convenient than a handlamp.

The Award for
Liability Avoidance
Winner: Bullet Points 3, 5-8

The judges were impressed by the comprehensive range of risk assessment tasks which these bullets impose on trackside workers, ensuring that responsibility for any failing is placed firmly on their shoulders. The demand that they apply the worksafe procedure (and then incur the wrath of their supervisor) if management of a site is a complete shambles was a masterstroke.

Story added 1st December 2008

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