B320 Network Rail Safety Bulletin NRB24-03

Runaway incident at Gravelly Hill

Issued to: All Network Rail line managers, safety professionals, accredited contractors
Ref: NRB24-03
Date of issue: 05/04/2024
Location: Gravelly Hill, Birmingham
Contact: Rhys Evans, Workforce Health, Safety & Environment Advisor


At 02:31 on Wednesday 6th March 2024, a Welding & Grinding team were carrying out profiling of a rail head in a possession between Gravelly Hill and Lichfield Trent Valley. During the work activity the team lost control of the Rail Grinder, the machine travelled up a gradient initially and then onwards for approximately 4 miles uncontrolled before
coming to a stop. Thankfully, there were no injuries sustained and no significant damage to the infrastructure.

The machine has been quarantined and sent for testing to analyse whether mechanical failure
could have been an underlying cause. This incident is subject to an investigation. Once the investigation has been concluded the findings will be published. In the meantime please discuss the below points amongst your team.

Discussion Points 

  • How do you maintain control of a Rail Grinder or similar machinery?

    • Do you carry out pre-user checks of Portable, Transportable and Mobile Plant (PTMP)?

    • Are you operating all equipment in the way in which you have been trained?

    • How do you control the risk of small plant and PTMP runaway?

    • Does your PTMP have a service and maintenance regime?

    • When was the last time an on-site assurance check was undertaken and what activities do you undertake to assure competence?

Please leave any comments/Questions and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

File name : Safety-Bulletin-NRB24-03-Runaway-incident-at-Gravelly-Hill.pdf

B320 NWR Safety Bulletin NRB24-03

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