Rail safety course for construction workers is ‘ideal opportunity’
The Rail Freight Group (RFG) has welcomed a new training course offering rail safety awareness training to the construction materials industry. Shaped by the RFG’s own construction working group, the course is targeting those working in freight locations like terminals and ports.
Both interactive theory and practical elements of loading and unloading rail wagons and working in sidings form the basis of the course content. Maggie Simpson, Executive Director of the RFG, said: “With increasing volumes of aggregates and other building materials being delivered to construction sites by rail, this is an excellent time to launch a training course on rail safety for those working in the construction industry.
“We are delighted that the initiative, which came from RFG’s construction working group and is supported by the Mineral Products Association, has been taken up by some of our members and developed into an on-going series of training courses.”
Though safety has been a high priority in the rail and construction industries for many years, she added, spreading specialist training over companies’ individual sites was often difficult and so the course provided an ‘ideal opportunity’ to overcome this issue.
More than 40 per cent of the construction materials used in London is delivered by rail, with more than 20 million tonnes transported annually throughout the UK. Figures recently published by the Office for Rail and Road (ORR) in the UK showed that although total rail freight volumes for the last quarter of 2016 were down almost three per cent on the previous year, the movement of construction materials went up, and continues to do so. Construction and domestic intermodal combined accounted for just over 60 per cent of total freight moved.
This was put down, in part, to an increase in residential building projects and retail developments nationwide. This is also being helped by developments such as a new steel handling facility at London Thamesport (pictured above) and the opening of a new ‘pop-up’ rail depot in Warrington, in the north west of England, which has been designed to help meet a growing local demand for construction aggregates.
Designed by rail freight operations specialists Victa Railfreight, the courses are being offered nationwide by Mentor Training Solutions.