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September 21, 2016

UK’s RSSB says railways need to do more to cut alcohol incidents

UK independent safety body Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has released a report stating that deaths at station platform edges can be reduced with an industry-wide approach to tackling alcohol misuse.

By Srivani Venna

UK independent safety body Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has released a report stating that deaths at station platform edges can be reduced with an industry-wide approach to tackling alcohol misuse. 

RSSB’s research found that in the past ten years two-thirds of the 32 deaths have occurred at the railway platform edges. 

Research also was found that 40% of passengers assaulted or abused on Britain’s railways believed their assailant was intoxicated.

In addition, rail staff believed that around 60% of assaults they experienced were alcohol-related.

"Rail staff believed that around 60% of assaults they experienced were alcohol-related."

In order to help rail companies manage the risks to personal safety and security from alcohol, RSSB has issued a new updated guidance. 

The ‘Managing alcohol risks to personal safety and security on the railway’ guide is aimed at a number of staff such as safety directors and station managers. It also features new case studies.

It has further links to resources, organisations and websites to help industry develop a coordinated approach.

Platform Train Interface (PTI) Strategy Implementation Group chairman Allan Spence said that alcohol and the railway can be a dangerous combination.

Spence said: “Our challenge is to protect the health and welfare of passengers who have consumed alcohol, as well as protecting front line staff and other passengers from anti-social or criminal behaviour where alcohol is the inflammatory factor.” 

The updated guide details the tactical measures that can be taken by duty holders to minimise the number of incidents that occur at the platform edge. 

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