Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

June 12th 2011

Safety experts join forces to cut work related level crossing deaths

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) North Wales branch held the event in conjunction with the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway to raise awareness among local businesses whose employees may come into contact with private level crossings in their day-to-day duties.

In the past nine years, 22 people have been killed on Britain's railways while using private level crossings, of which there are more than 200 in North Wales.

Sandy Jennings, IOSH North Wales Branch chair, said: "We were delighted with the interest in the event from local businesses, health and safety professionals and the media.

"As a branch we have succeeded in raising awareness of the dangers of working near level crossings and rail lines in general- especially as there are so many of them in North Wales.

"I sincerely hope that the Porthmadog event will lead to a reduction in the misuse of level crossings and occupational accidents on railway lines. Level crossings are always a topic under debate here in North Wales because there are a large number of them."

As part of the event, local business representatives visited Minffordd level crossing, on the Ffestiniog Railway, where a staged accident between a car and train was set up on the line. Those attending the demonstration heard practical safety advice from the Environment Agency, UK Power Networks, the emergency services and the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways about using and working near level crossings.

Tricia Doyle, community relations manager, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, said: "We were delighted to be involved in this important initiative organised by IOSH. We have 127 level crossings on the Welsh Highland line alone, so public awareness of crossing safety is vital."

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