Rail Sector Achieves Safety Record

7 August 2012

Costain’s rail sector has achieved 2.5 million man hours with a zero accident frequency rate (AFR).

Staff have also racked up an enviable all accident frequency rate (AAFR) of 2.01, which is also below the Group’s limit of 2.5.

Rail has a number of challenging projects, often in safety-critical environments, usually in full view of the client, authorities and travelling public. The sector’s safety record showed continued improvement in the first half of 2012, with potential areas of weakness being carefully scrutinised as, or even before, they develop.

“It’s all about strong leadership, open and honest reporting culture and the trending of data to mitigate developing trends,” said Rail SHE Manager, Matthew Wilcock. “We also ensure that we learn from previous accidents / incidents and ensure we change the way we do things to do as much as we can to prevent a repeat.

“We also focus very closely on near-misses. If you fully close out your near-misses, then you’re significantly reducing the potential for a major accident or incident.” The more near-misses that are reported, the more opportunities there are to nip a problem in the bud.

A good example of this is at the Reading Station contract, where Project Director, Brian Fisher, has delivered a near-miss ratio that consistently meets or exceeds the Rail Sector target.

“What Brian has done particularly well is he’s shown good leadership in making sure this is always at the forefront of people’s minds,” said Matthew. “The Reading project has an exemplar culture of reporting near-misses and a reinforced no-blame culture.

Costain’s Director of Rail, Gren Edwards, praised the achievement in the Rail newsletter, while cautioning against over-confidence: “Thank you all for your contribution to this outstanding performance and achievement; it is a truly great delivery! But don’t forget, ‘You are only as good as your last job.’ We really have to utilise the right behaviours and deploy the right processes all the time to maintain this level of excellence. Let’s make this a habit!”