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HSE warns firms to get act on track

THE HEALTH & Safety Executive is warning contractors to clean up their act and improve washing and eating facilities for gangs working on railways.

The warning, in a railway safety report published this week, follows a decline in standards in the aftermath of privatisation.

Prior to privatisation, British Rail provided mobile vans on lines with separate washing and eating facilities which were run by the gangs.

Some contractors have replaced these vans, which are old and may need to be fitted with tacho-graphs, with smaller ones that do not require tachographs but do not have separate facilities.

The HSE is concerned that there is a risk of infection from oil and dust on site because site workers cannot wash properly.

HSE inspector have been urging contractors to improve the situation and they are now vowing to issue improvement notices.