LT Health & safety

Testing the Water

Our employer has to test our drinking water and certify it safe at regular intervals. This is one of those tasks that rather than do it itself, LUL prefers to pass the buck, whoops we mean contract out, the task to another firm.

Said firm has been caught with its metaphorical trousers down, having forged the water safety certificates. Yes, you read that right. Your drinking water may be "certified" safe by a forgery.

Tubeworker will be checking before we drink any, and if there is no guaranteed safe drinking water, then we reckon that it may well not be safe to work.

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Pay Reinstated

Drivers all over the network, in both RMT and Aslef, refused to cross RMT station staff picket lines at depots located at stations during the 8-9 January strike.

Others refused to drive on the grounds of safety, arguing that it was unsafe for LU to run trains through unstaffed stations. One such RMT driver on the Bakerloo Line had his pay docked for doing so, but after pursuing a grievance against management, has had it reinstated.

The lesson? Stand your ground!

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Improvement Notice

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the independent transport regulatory body, has issued an official "improvement notice" to LU regarding safety on stations.

The admonishment comes off the back of the tragic incident at Canning Town, where a passenger died after falling down stairs in a non-public area of the station. An investigation clearly showed that job cuts, which led to lone working and the control room being de-staffed, had played a key role.

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Wot No Privacy?

LUL management changing Station Supervisors into Customer Service Managers has significantly increased the number of managers, with staff's personal and medical details being shared liberally among them. This situation is unacceptable, and here at Tubeworker, we want our unions to challenge it.

When staff are sick, or have domestic problems, every CSM on their group gets to see a 'live file' that tells them all the details. Sometimes CSSs get involved too. Emails fly around telling groups of people about a staff member's private situation.

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It was recently announced, following a study by scientists from London Metropolitan University, that various "superbugs" were loose in LU tunnels and stations, borne on poor quality air.

The Mayor has come up with the bright idea of doing a "super clean" on up to 50 stations overnight over the summer.

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Safety First

The stretch of the Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines running past Grenfell Tower remain suspended, as investigations into the tragic fire continue.

This is absolutely right; no corners can be cut with safety, and until those investigations are concluded and the area made safe, that suspension should remain in place.

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Grenfell Fire: Never Again!

This is a joint blog post from Tubeworker and Off The Rails.

The working-class people killed in the Grenfell Fire were killed because they were working-class. They were killed for being working-class — and, many of them, for being people of colour, and/or from migrant backgrounds — and not being able to afford better quality housing, or to afford legal representation to challenge the negligence of their landlords that tenants' groups had called out for years.

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Wot No Posters?

It appears LU is in the process of recalling the posters normally displayed at stations informing the public that the company will support its employees against passenger assaults, taking legal action if necessary.

Tubeworker HQ understands that the official company line on this is that they don't want to "give the impression that the Tube is a dangerous place". It seems to us that a good way to ensure the Tube becomes more dangerous is to send the message that the company won't take action on staff assaults, implying that it's open season for attacks on staff.

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Wot No Minimum Numbers?

Last month, King's Cross station stayed open with just one CSS and two CSAs on the station - not just below but way below minimum numbers - but management have decided that it was not that much of a problem.

When the last H&C trains were running late on 22 February, dead-late staff booked off and the station fell below the minimum numbers of 1 CSM + 10 others, it should have closed. Instead, King's Cross stayed open with just one CSM, one CSS and two CSAs - and then the CSM left the station to get rid of an intoxicated passenger who had abused a member of staff.

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