Are you a contractor, engineer or business owner who works in the railway industry?
If so, then you will likely understand the importance of choosing the right pit protection to keep you and your colleagues safe from injury.
In the UK alone, a staggering 29 construction worker fatalities occurred in 2021/22, caused by falls from height. Unprotected pits are an accident waiting to happen.
In this post, we'll give you five ways to fast-track compliance with these regulations and keep your workers safe from falls.
The Dangers of Rail Maintenance Pits
Working over rail inspection pits can be extremely dangerous.
Rail inspection pits provide a gap in the floor where a worker can inspect and examine the underside of rail carriages and maintenance vehicles. Without the right barricading and safety measures in place, there is a high risk of workers being injured or killed while accessing and working around inspection pits.
The principal hazards involved with inspection pits are as follows:
Falling into the exposed pit
Slipping on access steps
Fire or asphyxiation from an accumulation of gases
Objects falling on a worker within the inspection pit
Head injuries from contact with the vehicle over the inspection pit.
Importantly, when not in use, these open pits are an accident waiting to happen if the cover Pit Protection is not installed.
1. Assess the Risks Associated with Your Railway Pits
Railway pits pose a variety of risks. They are areas that maintenance teams rely on for safe access to inspect and maintain the underside of rolling stock.
As such, the railway pits must be well maintained, and risk assessments must be carried out regularly to pre-empt and mitigate fall hazards. It is necessary to have effective pit protection in place, which can include enclosure barriers, pit covers and security systems.
2. What Pit Protection is Needed?
When it comes to pit protection, the right type of protection must be determined for each pit.
Your pit may require guard rails and barriers to prevent any accidental falls into the pit, while at other locations, self-closing pit gates or pit covers may be necessary.
All of these methods are designed to ensure that access to pit environments is safe and efficient - helping protect personnel from potentially hazardous conditions.
It is a collective responsibility to determine what kind of pit protection is required for each location, as safety should always be the most significant priority.
3. Educating Your Workers to Identify the Risks Associated with Exposed Inspection Pits
Educating your workforce in identifying the risks which are present within the railway depots is an essential part of each company's health and safety policy.
It should be done in such a way as to ensure that on-site workers understand the risk associated with exposed inspection pits and how compliant pit protection can help to create a safe environment for maintenance workers, leading to fewer accidents and injuries.
Taking the time to make sure that everyone is educated in their understanding of pit protection regulations will save countless hours of potential downtime, prevent potential injuries, and improve overall morale among employees.
4. Conduct Regular Maintenance Inspections
Regular inspections should be carried out as railway pits can also be subject to environmental factors such as water damage, corrosion or flooding, which can jeopardise their stability.
With this in mind, you should invest in good quality pit protection materials, as the health and safety of your workforce are paramount.
PitProtect Ontrack is the perfect solution to prevent accidents associated with exposed rail maintenance pits.
PitProtect Ontrack benefits from the following:
· Quick to install and remove (for example, if an employee needs to get out in an emergency)
· Adjustable components for quick installation
· A lightweight concertina design, allowing suitable airflow through the pit cover.
· Full adjustability of both length and width
· Offer near-perfect coverage for pits that vary in size.
· Made with robust aluminium to withstand a falling person and any other load likely to be imposed on the pit cover.
· Rigorously tested, conforming to BS.8630:2019
This robust inspection pit cover has been intelligently designed to guarantee protection from falls and maintain accessibility for maintenance purposes.
Pit Protection That Covers All Bases
If you're looking for effective pit protection solutions for the railway industry that is compliant with UK regulations, look no further than our PitProtect Ontrack pit cover solution.
Our rail pit protection solution is designed to meet the highest safety standards and prevent any unnecessary falls from height.
We use proven technologies and processes to keep your personnel and equipment safe no matter how challenging the environment. With PitProtect Ontrack, you can trust that your pit protection is reliable and compliant, giving you confidence that your employees are safe and that all UK regulations are met.