Pointing Injury Prevention in the Right Direction

Pointing Injury Prevention in the Right Direction
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Zonegreen

Pointing Injury Prevention in the Right Direction

This article first appeared in the Railway-News Magazine Issue 4 2023.

In the last three years, musculoskeletal and back problems have accounted for more than 40% of all self-certified sickness across the rail industry – that’s almost seven million lost working days a year.

When you consider that period included a global pandemic, it’s a pretty shocking statistic!

The RSSB has found sickness in our industry to be more than twice the national rate, yet there remains a lack of information about how it is being dealt with. If we could see where and how issues such as musculoskeletal injuries have been prevented, we could share best practice and make positive changes to reduce the prevalence and time lost through absenteeism.

High-Risk Manual Points

Operating manual hand points is physically dangerous and poses a significant risk of damage to the back, neck or shoulders – some points can require as much as 103kg of force.

When you consider staff are often having to do this work in poor weather conditions, dimly lit environments, over uneven terrain and in many locations, beside the third rail, it’s no wonder accidents occur.

One of the firms working to reduce the musculoskeletal risks to rail workers is depot safety specialist, Zonegreen. The Sheffield-based business has developed its Points Converter to automate traditional manual hand points.

Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s Head of Engineering, said:

“There is a vast difference between the conditions faced by workers in modern and older rail depots. The latter still rely heavily on the manual operation of points, whereas new facilities are integrating safer, more dependable solutions to remove the risk of human error and potential for accidents. Our Points Converters are a reliable way to prevent handling injuries, as the shunter no longer needs to switch the points manually.”

Points Converters not only reduce the potential for slips, trips and falls, but also protect personnel from hazards when operating manual points, such as train movements and exposure to the live third rail.

By centralising operations through an intuitive remote handset or computer system, Points Converters increase efficiency, eliminating many stop/starts. Event logging facilities also allow the depot manager to keep a full record of activity at each point for hazard reporting and traceability purposes.

Download the full PDF here.

zonegreen.co.uk

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