Safety supervision

The safety supervisors determine the quality of the safety measures which are set up to counteract the dangers of railway operation. Thus, only experienced and reliable persons should be used for this activity. Safety supervisors who come from security companies must be trained and tested after attending the training course for safety supervisors. This must be preceded by proof of at least one year of work experience, so that the admission to training or the examination as a safety supervisor can be carried out.

Further Training

Safety supervisors must attend an annual updating course. New provisions with regard to the accident prevention regulations, as well as significant accidents and their preventative measures, are part of the syllabus of the training course. This training includes the award of certificates.

Requirements for the safety supervisor

The safety supervisor must be at least a certain age as a sign that he / her can carry out this activity which is a very responsible task.

Responsibility of the safety supervisor

The safety supervisor is responsible for averting the dangers of railway operation on the track site on which the gang is working. He must ensure that each track or construction site can be clearly protected. This is especially important if two different work sites are close together. The assignment of the gang warning signals and their audibility must be clearly defined so that there is no chance that they can be confused. A written agreement is necessary if a safety supervisor also looks after an adjacent work site.

Tasks of the safety supervisor

The safety supervisor has the great responsibility of ensuring that track workers are not exposed to danger from passing trains.

These tasks relate to the following:

  • The size and nature of the construction site.
  • The use of equipment.
  • The external influences (e.g. weather and noise).
  • The local and operational conditions.

If necessary, the safety supervisor may change the safety measures and adjust them to the current conditions.

A major task of the safety supervisor is to instruct the work force in the safety measures taken before the start of work. If the work is to be carried out by a contractor, the safety supervisor undertakes the instruction of the contractor’s foreman or supervisor, possibly with the participation of the safety monitor. Then, the workers are introduced to the precautions.

It is necessary for safety supervisors and work supervisors to be in constant communication, since the precautionary measures to be taken depend  on the work to be carried out at all times. The safety supervisor is responsible for ensuring that all workers, as well as the lookout men, wear high visibility clothing.

A further important point is the need to instruct the lookout men in their tasks. The safety supervisor determines the approach route, in order to specify the number of lookout men and the additional safety time. The foreman or the project engineer will ascertain the necessary clearing times or any additional equipment used which needs increased clearing times.