Railway professionals, like most other industrial workers, have to observe quite a few rules mandated by the government and railway organizations. The full functioning and efficiency of the British railway requires that every professional observe standard rules that ensure the safety of workers and consumers alike. For young professionals and graduates just entering the railway industry, knowing a few of the major rules associated with their jobs can give them an idea of how rigorous the regulations of the railway are. One of the most important aspects of railway regulations in the United Kingdom is protecting workers from harm in high traffic and track side areas. The hustle and bustle of millions of people traveling aboard trains yearly means that the risk of harm to workers increases. The British government and rail companies have developed ways to maximize the safety and security of workers performing routine maintenance on British railways.
The commonly used "green zone" working areas used by Network Rail are an example of ways in which workers are protected from high speed trains. These work areas are cordoned areas which block rail lines or are specific areas away from rail lines where maintenance tasks can be performed. Workers need to realize that track side safety requires diligence and high levels of concentration. Another set of regulations established by the British government governs behavior by railroad workers. The Transport and Works Act of 1992 prohibits the operation of trains or other public transportation vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Regular drug tests and spot inspections by rail inspectors help determine if a railway employee is capable of operating a vehicle. While regulations provide fines and other responses to irresponsible behavior by employees, it stands to reason that railway workers should moderate their behavior to avoid serious accidents. Workers who are concerned about slipping, falling, and other injuries on railway platforms or in the workplace should consult the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) report on workplace safety. This organization was established as a cross-industry effort to address issues of workplace safety, specifically in manufacturing and industrial sectors where slipping and falling are common. Appropriate footwear and a concentration on where work is being performed are some suggestions in this report. As well, an attentiveness to man-made factors like rush to a train or luggage placement can help avoid serious physical harm for railway workers.
Mark Murphy, Business Unit Director for Wynnwith Rail, a specialist provider of Railway Jobs.