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IoM Accidents and near Misses

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by lostlogin, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

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    The local paper is reporting that there have been 1,352 incidents, near misses and hazard reports on the IoM railways since October 2011 and this includes 37 members of the public being injured on the railways with 14 on the MER, 8 on the SMR and 15 on the Steam Railway. During the same period 87 staff were injured - 50 on the MER, 9 on the SMR and 28 on the Steam Railway.

    Now these could be simply kids tripping and grazing a knee but for those who have knowledge of figures on other heritage figures do these figures seem high or out of line with what you might expect?
    http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=35804&headline=Some 1,352 incidents reported on Manxrailways&sectionIs=NEWS&searchyear=2017

    This follows another report that there have been 6 loss of control or brake failures on the SMR in 5 years

    http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=35679&headline=Six brake failures or loss of control on SMR in five years&sectionIs=NEWS&searchyear=2017

    Now a couple of these were serious and obviously on a mountain railway brake failures are likely to be more obvious that on a railway that is relatively flat. Equally a loss of control etc could be fairly momentarily and when I volunteered in the UK years ago I have been on the footplate where there was a problem with the steam break as a piece of debris got into the cylinder but again is this sort of level of incident unusual or something that is par for the course but just not in the public domain.

    Sorry for the lengths of the links and if they don't work then they are in the transport news section of http://www.iomtoday.co.im/
     
  2. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    It all depends on how comprehensive reporting and recording systems are! I suspect that, if the figures genuinely are all 'incidents' and minor injuries, then the IoM can be quite proud of its safety record!

    You would need some annual trend analysis to see whether things were getting worse or better, and even then, reported incidents can increase because people get better at reporting things when systems to capture data are introduced or more rigorously enforced.

    Steven
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Without knowing what constitutes a situation worthy of raising a Hazard Report, or even whether the same hazard has been the subject of more than one report during the period in question, it's difficult to translate the figure of 1352 "incidents, near misses and hazard reports" into anything meaningful. Equally, whilst reported figures of 37 members of the public and 87 staff injured during the period seems high at first sight, there's no indication of the seriousness of injuries, or how they were sustained.

    I don't seek to play down concern for safety, but without proper details, of the sort journos often can't be bothered with, headlines can be.... [scrub that].... are misleading. Of the 30 derailments reported across the three Manx railways, I recall one in an IMR station and there was that particularly nasty incident on the MER, but how many were on running lines, where there is clearly cause for concern and how many on sidings, where the public are most unlikely to be endangered?

    As Steven points out [post #2], increased enforcement of safety reporting obligations could easily be the reason for such numbers and, again, without similar figures for at least one other (vaguely comparable) heritage line it's impossible to draw any meaningful conclusion of the relative safety of the Manx operations.

    Another question is, are all lines equally diligent in compliance with regulations? The three Manx lines are run by a government department, where safety considerations are bound to be regarded more seriously than just about anywhere else. It would be (literally) criminally negligent to attempt to hide an avoidable injury occasioned by safety shortcomings, but for lesser incidents, somehow, the notion that we're looking at a level playing field across the whole heritage sector doesn't ring true!

    Lines with no level crossings must be the envy of every other railway whose safety record is skewed by vehicles driven by those inevitable brainless prats who are a danger to life and limb on every section of the roads that they menace!

    As when shouting at the TV during sports events (sad.... I admit it!), what I ask for is consistency, without which, it is impossible to conclude anything meaningful, be it a rugby rereree's individual interpretation of what constitutes a "foul tackle" or rail safety stats.
     
    Bean-counter and Hicks19862 like this.

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