After a fatal accident at Waterloo Station in London in 2020, a report has been published.
On the 26th of May 2020, a passenger fell into the gap between the platform and the train. A large gap existed between the train and platform due to track curvature at that location. The train departed while the passenger was still stuck, as he was unable to free himself. As a result, he suffered crushing injuries as it moved away. Once the train had departed, he remained motionless on the track. A second train entering the station then tragically struck him shortly after.
Unfortunately, there were no staff or members of the public nearby to assist the fallen passenger. The train driver was responsible for train despatch. He used a close circuit television system to view the side of the train alongside the platform. With only the passenger’s head and arm above platform level, he was difficult to see. As a result, the driver did not notice him. The passenger was not seen by the driver of the second train. This is because their attention was focused on the platform, and the train’s stopping point.
An investigation found that the risk assessment did not consider all factors on this platform. The risk of higher platform-train interface risk was not considered. Location specific measures also had not been fully quantified. There was no consideration of the platform’s curvature. This made it difficult to fully assess the potential benefits of added mitigation in these locations.
The investigation also found that the system used to quantify system risk made no allowance for non-fatal injury. This understated the risk of harm to passengers. Safety decision making was affected as a result. This was due to inadequate risk assessment.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch’s Recommendations
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) made several recommendations:
- Allow adequate management of location specific risks by recognising and assessing them
- Ensure safety management processes include the ongoing evaluation of existing safety measures at stations
- Create periodic risk assessments for individual locations at intervals that reflect the level of risk
- To effectively deliver the actions proposed by internal investigation recommendations
The Importance of Risk Assessment
Sadly, this case really highlights the importance of having a competent risk assessment. The station did have a risk assessment in place. However, it failed to consider all of the environmental factors for this specific location. As a result, a tragedy occurred, simply as a result of not accurately assessing risk.More News