Network Rail and London Underground have addressed the problem of staff having safety certification and competencies that expire during the Coronavirus (COVIS-19) epidemic but who therefore can’t get the assessment and recertification they need.
As a result, Network Rail has temporarily extended by four months all Sentinel railway competences and medical certificates. For Network Rail staff, HAVS (Hand-arm vibration syndrome) health surveillance dates and Annual Capability Conversation (ACC) requirements have also been extended.
Rupert Lown, chief HSQE officer, said: “Network Rail has taken account of Office of Rail and Road emergency guidance published on 20 March and undertaken a risk assessment before implementing this change. The unprecedented crisis and the need to maintain vital transport links formed part of that assessment.
“While the formal recertification has been deferred, careful oversight by managers of the workers affected and continuing local competence management support our judgement that any additional risk is minimised and acceptable for this temporary period.
“I will consult with others before the end of the extension period at which time I will decide whether a further extension is required.”
London Underground has also acted to extend its track certification for work in traffic hours, depots, engineering hours and possession. All qualifications that expire after 21 March 2020 will be extended until 30 June 2020, but workers must carry their expired cards with them.