Network Rail Program Says Safety Begins At The Design Stage

Posted on June 26, 2012

Construction safety is an important topic that all too often gets short shrift in the media.  Thankfully, a new report addresses the myriad concerns that construction workers might have, especially as it concerns rail worksites.

Network Rail’s Safety Leadership and Culture Change aims to get industry professionals involved in a dialogue about how best to improve safety in the industry.  According to the new program, one of the most important things that can be done to improve safety at worksites is to change the behavior that leads to accidents in the first place.

But the program also states that one other important factor often goes overlooked:  the design phase.  Highly skilled designers, they offer, can help offset defects in safety before the defects even have a chance to take shape.  An effective dialogue opened up between designers and the workers who will gets hands-on experience with their designs could go a long way toward promoting rail infrastructure safety.

The report then offers a number of things that could be done during the design phase to promote rail safety.  First, processes like grinding, drilling, and cutting could be removed entirely, and much assembly could be conducted offsite, where fewer dangers lurk.  Future maintenance could be promoted by placing fixture points for scaffolds on already completed projects, and mechanization could be more widely utilized.

All of these things and more could theoretically reduce accidents.

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