Health and Safety

ASLEF organises in a highly regulated, safety critical industry. All our Members have to be intensively trained to very high standards. Safety therefore is paramount, both for the protection of the public and of our Members.

Since the privatisation of the railway industry, ASLEF is concerned that the fragmented nature of the industry has led to safety being compromised. The profit motive has lead to a reduction in driver training, for example. As a result of this reduction ASLEF is formulating a best practice driver training package that individual TOCs and FOCs will have to agree to or they will be in dispute with ASLEF. Another example is a reduction in on-going training in the form of safety briefing days. Six days per year were recommended in the Hidden report following the Clapham crash. ASLEF believes that quality, classroom based safety briefings are the most effective method of updating Drivers and other safety critical staff.

The lives of ASLEF members that have been lost in such tragedies as Paddington and Ufton Nervet and the lost lives of members of public in the avoidable accidents such as Hatfield and Potters Bar are lost because of the failings of the rail industry and not because of the actions or inactions of ASLEF members. These disasters highlight the need for a safety agenda that listens to the people and the workers who operate and use the systems because they are the in the best position to identify the problems.

We therefore call for a publicly owned, publicly accountable national railway, and London Underground.