The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has suggested that Network Rail reviews its competence management and requirements after one of their operators allowed a SPaD (signal passed at danger), resulting in a train derailment.
According to Rail Technology Magazine:
“The RAIB investigation found that at the time of the incident, the Knottingley mobile operations manager (MOM) was operating the Knaresborough signal box, which he was authorised to do, as a substitute for the normal signaller, who was off work with a workplace injury.
The MOM authorised the train to bypass the signal at danger, believing it was safe to do so. This led to the train derailing after it travelled over incorrectly set points. None of the train crew or the five passengers on board were injured, but the train and track were damaged”.
It was found that Network Rail’s competence management system had less rigorous requirements for non-signallers that operate signalling equipment occasionally. The RAIB has called on Network Rail to review whether or not these requirements for non-signallers have resulted in them maintaining the required standard needed.
Reducing Human Error
Reducing the number of SPaDs is a big focus for the rail industry at present, and human error is one of the major causes. James Fox, 3Squared Commercial Director, looked at the way in which digitalisation of competency management can help to cut down on mistakes. Centralising and digitalising the process not only helps managers to access information quickly and accurately, but it also frees up time for training. RailSmart is 3Squared’s award winning software suite which provides business solutions to help rail-operating companies to improve efficiency and operational performance. The app delivers a centralised overview of an employee’s competency data, allowing managers to access it in real-time, while working on site or remotely. Administrative and logistic burdens are reduced, meaning managers have more free time to support their operators.
You can read more about the Queen’s Award winning RailSmart here.