Safety at work

Various countries used different terms for items of railway track. In the following texts, an attempt is made to describe the individual terms in neutral way. To a certain extent, this is based on the situation in Austria and Germany.

Railway installations

Railway installations include all land facilities, buildings and other facilities of a railway which contribute to the processing or protection of the passenger and goods transport by rail. This includes auxiliary operating systems and various other facilities of a railway which contribute to the loading and unloading as well as the management of the arrivals and departures. This includes the railway stations, the main line and other railway premises. Vehicles are not included in the term "railway installations".

Stations are railway installations, which are equipped with at least one turnout. Trains start and terminate there and can run around or reverse. The entrance signals or trapezoidal panels are considered as the boundary between the stations or the main line, the entry turnouts mark the station limit.

Danger space is the space which is taken up by the rail vehicle itself and its load.

Safety space is the area next to the danger space in which workers can stay protected during the passing of trains.

The terms referred to in accident prevention

Work in the track area includes all activities which contribute to the construction and maintenance of the track.

The track area is defined as the area which is required by moving rail vehicles. The area under, beside or above the tracks, is also included where staff is exposed to danger from moving rail vehicles. On electric railways the area around the overhead line is included in the track area. The electrical hazards also need to be taken into account.

Railways are described as systems which are used by rail borne vehicles, especially by railways and trams. Track guided buses are similar to railways.

The power supply lines (catenaries and live rails) are those devices which are placed under voltage to carry out their function.

The safety area (on the side) is the space that adjoins the track/danger area. It is used by the track workers if the track/danger area must be vacated due to the announcement of an approaching train. The safety area on the track free side or to the fixed equipment (e.g. retaining walls, abutments, noise protection walls or railings) must be at least 0.5 m, the safety area between two tracks must be at least 0.8 m. The safety area must extend to a height of at least 2.00 m above each base area.

The adjoining tracks are tracks which are located next to each other. A safety area of at least 0.8 m is required between the danger areas.

Rail vehicles and space for staff

Rail vehicles must be equipped in such a way that they can be used safely in accordance with the purpose for which they were intended.

The ends of rail vehicles that are manually coupled, must be designed in a way that the staff has sufficient space for their activity. This provision is irrelevant if it is not necessary for staff to get between the vehicles when coupling. This also applies for trams which only need to be coupled in cases when they are defective, or if other technical measures can be used to prevent dangers.

The ends of rail vehicles must be designed in a way that staff who carries out shunting work can ride on them in such a way that they are safe. Rail vehicles on which riding when shunting is not necessary are excluded.

Steps for shunters and other riders on rail vehicles must be constructed and designed in a way that staff has sufficient space for their activities and that the workers are safe in the event of an impact. In addition, secure access must be guaranteed and the stands must be equipped in such a way that the staff cannot be injured when the vehicle on which they are travelling runs under fixed equipment.

Movable vehicle parts on railway vehicles must have fastenings at each end position which protect them from unforeseen movements and can be a danger to staff.