In June 2013, Network Rail introduced Sentinel to enhance workforce safety. It uses the latest smartcard and database technology to manage and maintain individual workers’ competence, medical records and authority to work.
Network Rail professional development and training head Guy Wilmshurst-Smith said: "TfL’s use of Sentinel represents a significant milestone; not only will the two largest operators of the rail infrastructure be able to use the same system but Sentinel will also provide the opportunity to share data on double-shifting, fatigue management and competence restrictions."
The workforce injuries and fatalities have fallen by 11% since its implementation in 2013, Network Rail stated.
From 1 April, the Sentinel card has replaced the TfL LU LUCAS smartcard. However, the existing LU LUCAS cards will remain valid for access to TfL infrastructure until they expire.
There are currently 96,000 active Sentinel cardholders and this collaboration with TfL will extend the access to more than 33,000 additional rail workers.
TfL Infrastructure programme director George McInulty said: "We often use the same suppliers as Network Rail so it is sensible and safer to have the same processes and standards wherever we can, so they don’t have to switch between the two.
"Joining Network Rail in the use of the Sentinel ID card is a fantastic example of where we can come together to make our industry a safer and more joined-up place to be."
The Sentinel identification system operates through an easy-to-navigate mobile application that is available on smart phone devices. A built-in QR code scanner in this application records the data of registered users from their cards at the point of entering a worksite.