Croydon Tramlink Accident - 06:07hrs - Wednesday 9th November 2016
WHY WAS THIS ACCIDENT TOTALLY PREVENTABLE
First Group Management! A week earlier they are informed of an incident in the same area where a tram is speeding, turns on its side and luckily stays on the tracks.
It is blatantly obvious that if they had treated this earlier incident in a professional manner, this accident was totally preventable. After all this was a ticking time bomb even before the earlier incident(s), this was their opportunity to prevent another incident/accident.
After the earlier incident(s) did they issue any driver briefs? Did they carry out their own risk assessment? Time will tell, but what really amazes and angers me is the fact that they clearly didn't see this area as a danger spot in the first place, which is where a simple route risk assessment would have highlighted this very danger.
Did they report this earlier incident through the RIDDOR reporting platform? Surely they must have, especially after receiving reports that the tram nearly turned over.
On this website I told their CEO Tim O'Toole that one day something like this would happen. Psychic? No. Understand incompetence when you encounter it? Yes.
I am at a total loss in trying to understand how this accident was ALLOWED to happen, anyone with the slightest ounce of common sense would be able to see the safety hazard this 12mph bend posed.
With no safety devices in place like we have on the rail network (a simple advanced warning board - AWS), no in cab safety devices (like AWS - Automatic Warning System or a vigilance device) why couldnt anyone from First Group Management see this danger that was screaming out?
We have a stretch of track where this tram looking at the geographical layout could have quite easily reached 50mph, from that speed of 50mph this tram has to slow down to 12mph, it is 100% reliable on the driver being fully aware of their surroundings to bring the speed down to 12mph.
There is no margin for driver error, previous incidents of speeding over this area show that driver error happens. I fully understand that this shouldnt happen, but a multitude of possibilities could cause this.
1. Driver distraction.
This could be anything in that cab environment from rattling windows to inadequate cooling or heating.
This could be a result of working patterns or everyday life requirements. A micro sleep which only last a few seconds followed by possible disorientation.
Working when not feeling well, an undiagnosed illness that suddenly occurs.
4. Faulty Equipment.
Any cab related feature that fails to work correctly, causing confusion and distraction.
Driving conditions could encounter heavy rain, snow or even fog which could play their part in disorientation.
There will be other issues which all goes to show that First Group Management should have had something in place to warn drivers of this approaching, very severe speed restriction. Sadly there is nothing there, the lot is completely vacant, it would be easier to reason with a backward child. Everywhere on this website shows exactly why I am stating this and please believe me, something will happen again with this company.
Early questions that require answers
1. Was a Route Risk Assessment carried out?
This should be carried out over every single route to enable the safe running of these trams by giving a thorough understanding to all employees who work on these routes. Its not rocket science, a simplistic assessment of this area is below.
A. Identification of this hazard.
A tram has to reduce speed from travelling at a maximum speed of 50mph down to 12mph.
What is the likelihood that a tram exceeds the 12mph speed restriction?
What would be the consequences of exceeding the 12mph speed limit?
B. Analyze or evaluate the risks associated with that hazard.
Dependable on the speed travelling over the 12mph speed restriction.
The risk is apparent because there is nothing in place to give advanced warning of such a severe drop in speed.
The probability that speeding will occur is inevitable, previous incidents have already shown that this has happened. Drivers are human.
C. Determine appropriate ways to eliminate or control the hazard.
It required First Group Management to realise this danger in the first place, its extremely evident this never happened. If they had realised the danger implications this area posed they could have taken steps to help prevent speeding from happening.
They could initially have used driver safety briefs as a means of informing on the need to keep concentration levels high when approaching this area. I am fully aware that this would not eliminate the possibility of driver error. Sadly as this website shows, safety briefs from a railway perspective were non existent, a complete shambles, is there any reason to expect anything different here?
Other ways would have been by implementing early speed restrictions and regular monitoring of these speed restrictions. Then there becomes a permanent solution but this would have involved spending money by using systems the railway has in place like AWS - (Automatic
Warning System) Vigilance and TPWS - (Train Protection Warning System).
2. Why didn't First Group Management see this area as a safety hazard?
This must be top of everyone's questions list. The answer lies within this website, they were rotten to the core with managers put in place who had minimal experience.
If issues of health and safety were brought to their attention they did the only thing they were good at - IGNORANCE - the levels of IGNORANCE have to be seen to be believed. Proof is readily available on this website.
3. After previous incidents in this area, did First Group Management brief their drivers on this hazard?
I don't know this answer but I could have a good guess. Without breaking the habit of a lifetime there would be no chance of this happening, absolutely no chance.
4. Was the earlier incident(s) reported via the RIDDOR reporting platform?
Chances once again are extremely slim!