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SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Perhaps the issue of lineside photo permits should be reconsidered, I’ve put out a couple of fires just by being there.
     
  2. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I’m not sure that’s a solution, if a pass holder got injured putting one out that could be a right H&S nightmare.
     
  3. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    A similar point was raised by my Dad with the previous GM…
    I really don’t want to go over old ground but has the situation changed now with lineside permits?
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think that lineside clearance gangs have a large - and often unheralded - part in reducing the risk from fires. Quite apart from the positive effect they have on the general appearance and tidiness.

    Tom
     
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  5. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Whilst I see your point Pete, I’d counter it with at least there’s someone there to literally stamp it out before it gets too big without risking life and limb, or they can (depending on signal) try and let the emergency services know before little things develop into bigger things.
     
  6. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    A very interesting point that was flagged up by a friend of mine a few years ago regarding the paint finish on the locomotive he and his friends owned and the railway it was based at, at the time.
     
  7. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Possibly but I’d love to see the risk assessment for it. I see the logic in what you are saying but as I said H&S will mean no one is going to suggest a line side pass holder should attempt to put the fire out no matter how small it is (I would imagine the insurers having the same view).

    Calling the fire brigade would be a different matter of course.
     
  8. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    As I understand it there would be no H&S issue as you would be attempting to prevent damage to person or property and that’s a duty of any citizen. It’s one of the few cases where we are allowed to act as adults without the bureaucrats getting in the way.
    In a similar circumstance it’s quite possible to crack a person’s ribs while doing CPR but they can’t then sue for assault or injury as you were carrying out a life saving operation.
     
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  9. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    They are still not issuing permits on H&S grounds although anyone with an existing three year pass was safe until it ran out which is quite illogical. Pass holders could also deal with some of the idiots who will always trespass on the railway
     
  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The issue is with the railway as holding the duty under law, and would come about if there was reliance on the pass holder to be the first responder if there was a fire. I’d tend to agree that this could cause merry hell in terms of the briefings and equipment pass holders would be required to carry for a known risk.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    While it is true regarding CPR, @35B hit the nail on the head why it isn’t the same situation at all with the hypothetical fire.
     
  12. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    If I am granted a pass on a railway, am I there as a photographer engaged in my hobby, or as a representative of the railway? The questions of risk and responsibility will all flow from that basic decision.

    If I'm the railway's representative, then I will be expected to abide by a higher standard and it will be necessary for the railway to ensure that I am trained and equipped for whatever duties I've taken on. If I'm a hobbyist, then my duties must be limited to obeying the rules imposed by the railway. If I then firefight/get involved with trespassers/provide first aid, I'm doing so as a private individual and the railway can have no expectation that I will do so.
     
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  13. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    You last paragraph agrees with my point. No one would stand and watch a fire burn out of control. If I had no pass and was on the public side of thr fence I would jump over the fence to put it out ad I think most people would
     
  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    As would I. But that then gets turned inside out given the operation of liability law - if the railway relies on your presence, the nature of the role changes.
     
  15. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    But....what would happen if, let's say you jumped over the fence, landed badly and broke your leg, or maybe worse. Or let's say the fire gets out of control and you end up with life changing injuries, or maybe worse.

    Now let's say that your family decides that your injuries or loss are causing them hardship and they need to be compensated.

    They sue the SVR for negligence as the fence wasn't properly maintained (or high enough to stop you trying to jump it) or they should've had more fire wardens in the area.
    The SVR (or its insurers) has to pay out a substantial sum.
    The SVR is now poor or possibly bankrupt (see 6024 libel case).

    No use in you saying, my family wouldn't do that, I wouldn't let them, you might not be in a fit state to stop them.

    You might not like this, but these are the kinds of things that need to be thought about in these litigious days.
     
  16. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    It’s not as black and white as that though, if there was a raging fire you’d jump over and endanger your life? I’d certainly hope not and would do the sensible thing and call the fire brigade which would be the sensible course of action.
     
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  17. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Rather melodramatic, I’m talking about a lineside fire not the Towering Inferno. I would suggest that seeing a fire anyone would do the same thing and a fence that can’t be climbed over hasn’t yet been invented. Highly unlikely that any legal action would succeed, it would be my risk
     
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  18. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes I’m quite capable of making a risk assessment.
     
  19. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Well if you are you would understand why the railways risk assessment would never come to the conclusion that it was a good idea to appoint lineside pass holders as front line firefighters. Also consider others may not be as good at making that judgement.
     
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  20. Chris86

    Chris86 Well-Known Member

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    This could be a potentially very messy situation.

    *Full disclosure*
    I work as a safety and training consultant, principally within vehicle operating, but also industrial safety and rescue (water, from height and confined spaces)

    If the railway were to hypothetically "OK" you to start dealing with lonesome fires I would expect that they would ensure you have some level of training to do so- otherwise they would leave themselves exposed.

    In honesty, from an industrial safety perspective, if I were looking at line side access for photographers/general public I would absolutely have made the same decision and done away with line side permits.

    The risk just isn't worth it, having potentially untrained, unaware people in remote locations on the line side with no supervision, who aren't under the direct control of competent people is barmy.

    *If* I was ever in a scenario where I had to manage line side access- I'd expect people to do a PTS equivalent, with an exam on the operating rules for the specific railway, likely provide evidence of hearing and sight and a doctor's note to prove they are in suitable health.

    Even then, I would expect them to be supervised by a competent person, & work only within a planned set area.

    In addition, no step ladders.

    Chris
     
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