RT3170 Issue 9 June 2013 - PTS Course

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RT3170 Issue 9 June 2013Tr

Where are thedangers here?

03Together, these two trains weigh around 1,000tonnes and are passing at a combined speedof 150 mph. A gentle breeze creates enough noiseto mask the sound of their approach and, becauseof the track curvature, you only catch sight of themwhen they are just 300 metres away – eight secondslater they are rattling past. Smoke from a nearbyscrap yard blows across the track from time to time,restricting visibility even further.If you’re standing by the lineside cabinet, there’s lessthan one metre between you and the train. Crossingto the signal is almost impossible. Clearances are eventighter in the tunnel. There’s a short length of rail in theundergrowth – easy to trip over – with a loose drain coveralongside it. The voltage in the overhead equipmentis a hundred times greater than your supply at home.Where are the dangers?They’re everywhere.All railways have their risks, but none of them have to be killers.This guide is designed to remind you of the dangers and hazardsof working in a Railway Environment; it is your route to safe workingon or near the line. Please take time to study this guide.

04Personal Track Safety, known as PTS, is a qualification requiredby people who –go on a linego within 3 metres (10 feet) of a line on the railway sideof any permanent fence or structurecarry out engineering or technical work on a platform within1.25 metres (4 feet) of its edge.This handbook covers the rules, which must be applied in thesesituations by Sentinel track safety card holders, Signallers andCrossing Keepers and visitors to the infrastructure who havea Track Visitor Permit. It also contains useful informationfor other railway workers.The handbook does not cover –local instructionslines on which trains are allowed to travel at morethan 125 mph.


06Contents1 Getting to know the infrastructure1. layoutTerminologySignalsElectrified linesTelephonesLimited clearances0913172024252 Are you fit for work?2.12.2Medical fitnessAlcohol and drugs3 The Sentinel scheme2929304 Going onto the railway4. accessPPE and workwearUsing vehicles near the lineYour safety – the basicsWalking aloneWhen a train approachesCrossing the line37384040414344

075 Walking in a group and working5. COSSThe person in chargeThe Safe System of WorkThe briefing474748566 During the work6.16.26.3Keep to the safe systemTools and materialsChanging the safe system5960617 Communicating clearly7.17.27.3A structured approachMake it clearEmergency calls6366688 Emergency situations8. to trainsStopping a trainProtecting the lineIncidents on electrified lines9 Reporting your concerns7172738082

1Getting toknow theinfrastructure

09You’ll need to have some knowledge of the railwayinfrastructure to apply the rules in this handbookproperly and safely. This section gives you thebasics. Whether it’s a busy multi-track area ora little-used branch line, every section of railwayis unique and each has its own dangers.1.1 Track layoutA running line is a line used by trains to go from place to place.Each running line has a name – for example the Up Main or DownGoods – and a speed limit. Details are given in a document calledthe Sectional Appendix.The picture below shows a railway with two tracks – one for eachdirection. Trains travel away from the camera on the left-handtrack – in this case called the Down Main line – and towards thecamera on the right-hand track – the Up Main. Here the speedlimit on both is 75 mph.7575DownMainUpMain

10Sometimes trains can travel in both directions on the same track.This is either a bi-directional line or, if it’s the only track, a singleline. The pictures below show the Down/Up Huddersfield line. Herethe speed limit depends on the type of train – either 35 mph or 50mph – but always assume trains will approach at the higher ldSome busy railways have four or more lines. In the picture below,the two tracks to the left – the Up and Down Slow lines – have aspeed limit of 100 mph. To the right are the Up and Down Fast lines,with trains allowed to travel at 125 mph. Up is towards the principalcity or town and Down is away from the principal city or town.100100125125UpSlowDownSlowUpFastDownFast

11If a line has been blocked for some reason, trains can beauthorised to travel along another open line in either direction,known as single line working. Points and crossovers are usedby trains to go from one line to another. Generally, points areoperated from a signal box and have an identifying numberdisplayed on them.In the pictures below, the camera is looking in the direction trainstravel. The points on the left are ‘facing’ – they allow trains toleave the line – whilst, on the right, they are ‘trailing’ – allowingtrains to join. The speed limit usually changes in these junctionareas, but not always.

12Near stations the track layout can be complex with many lines,with several sets of points and crossovers with trains entering andleaving the station at the same time from different directions.There are hundreds of sidings on the railway network, as well asdepots and yards. These are used to store trains and other railwayvehicles when they are not in use. Sidings, depots and yards are notrunning lines and are not usually shown in the Sectional Appendix.

13Mileposts are positioned alongside the railway – usually everyquarter of a mile – to help identify the location.1.2 TerminologyThe picture below shows the terms used to describe parts ofthe track –fasteningsleeperfasteningballastrunning railrunning railrunning rails are the two rails that a train’s wheels run onsleepers support the rails and keep them the correctdistance apartfastenings hold the running rails to the sleepersballast keeps the track in place.

14In this handbook, when distances are given ‘from the nearest line’,the measurement is taken from the nearest running rail of that line.This picture shows the terms used to describe parts of the railway our-footcessfour-footthe cess is the area alongside the railwaythe four-foot is the space between the running rails of one linethe six-foot is the space between a pair of lines if they’re thenormal distance apart.Sometimes, if there are three or more lines, a wider space isprovided between two of the lines. This is known as the ten-foot,or a wideway.Be aware, these are just terms not measurements.

15On or near the line and linesideThe diagram below shows two important terms.You are ‘on or near the line’ and in danger from trains if –you are on a lineyou are within 3 metres (10 feet) of a line and there is nopermanent fence or structure between you and the lineyou are doing engineering or technical work on a stationplatform within 1.25 metres (4 feet) of its edge.These areas are shown below.lineside3 metres1.25 metreson or near the lineYou are not on or near the line if you are crossing the lineat a level crossing.

16You are on the lineside if –you are within the railway boundary but not on or near theline, andyou can be seen by the driver of an approaching train.These areas are shown in orange on the diagram on page 15.You are not on the lineside if you are on a station platform.Position of safetyA position of safety is a place where it is safe to stand when a trainis passing.You are in a position of safety if you are at least 2 metres (6 feet6 inches) from the nearest line on which a train might approach.However if the speed limit on this line is no more than 100 mph,the distance can be reduced to 1.25 metres (4 feet).position of safety1.25 metres0-100mph2 metres101-125mph

17Authorised walking routeAn authorised walking route provides safe access to or from aplace of work. They are often found near depots, stations andsignal boxes and vary in construction – some are proper walkways,others are just rough paths. Details are given in a document calledthe Hazard Directory.1.3 SignalsMost running lines have signals to control the trains. Generally,signals are operated from a signal box and have an identifyingnumber displayed on them.Signals are usually attached to posts alongside the track butcan also be found on overhead gantries or on the ground.Modern signals tend to use coloured lights, but some lines stillhave semaphore signals.

18Each colour light signal has an ‘aspect’. These are shown below.A red aspectA yellow aspectA double-yellowaspectA green aspectA colour light signal is said to be ‘at danger’ if it’s showinga red aspect.A red semaphore signal is at danger if it’s in the horizontal position.Normally trains will stop at a danger signal but, in some situations,they can be authorised to pass them.

19Some signals are automatic or semi-automatic and cannot alwaysbe put to danger by the Signaller. These are identified by the signsshown below.SEMIAn automatic signalA semi-automatic signalAn automatic signal may have a switch on the signal post whichcan be used to put it to danger, called a signal post replacementswitch (SPRS). It is operated by a special key.Be aware, some colour light signals don’t have red lights so trainswon’t stop at them. This is also true of yellow semaphore signals.These are called distant signals.

201.4 Electrified linesSome trains are powered by electricity from overhead cables or railsalongside the track. The electricity is controlled from an electricalcontrol room.Overhead line equipment (OLE)Overhead line equipment, known as OLE, provides trains with25,000 volts AC or, where trams or metro trains use the line,up to 750 volts DC. Each structure has a number displayed on it.In the picture below, the live parts have been highlighted in red.You can only go on or near a line with OLE if your Sentinel cardincludes the qualification “PTS AC”.

21A pantographA red bondAlways assume that the OLE, and anything in contact with it,is live and extremely dangerous. Make sure you, and anythingyou’re carrying, don’t go within 2.75 metres (9 feet) of liveOLE or the electrification equipment on a train’s roof, suchas the pantograph.Each OLE structure has a black cable connecting it to therunning rail. This is known as a bond. There are also yellowbonds and red bonds. Red bonds are very dangerous if theybecome disconnected. Never touch them as there could bea dangerous voltage.Immediately report to the Electrical Control Operator (ECO) anybond that you find disconnected, broken or defective. Includethe colour of the bond, and the location of the bond.In some situations, work can take place within 2.75 metres(9 feet) of live OLE, but only if a special Safe System of Work hasbeen approved beforehand.

22Conductor railsA conductor rail, often called a third rail, provides trains with upto 750 volts DC. In the picture below, the live parts have beenhighlighted in red. On lines used by London Underground trains,there’s another conductor rail in the four-foot. This is often calleda fourth rail. Again, in this picture, the live rails have beenhighlighted in red.You can only go on or near a line with conductor rails if yourSentinel card includes the qualification “PTS DC” (Which will bereplaced by PTS DCCR from December 2014).Always assume that conductor rails are live and extremelydangerous. Make sure you, and anything you’re carrying, don’ttouch them or the electrification equipment on a train, suchas the collector shoe.

23A collector shoeWork can only take place within 30cm (1 foot) of a live conductorrail if the approved insulated tools, shrouds or troughing, and PPEare used.Take care with liquids – they will become live if they come intocontact with a conductor rail. Keep clear of flood water.Track circuits and axle countersTrack circuits and axle counters are a method of indicating to theSignaller in the signal box, where trains are in the area they controltrain movements on.You must not place objects (e.g. measuring tapes or chains) acrossthe rails, as it might operate the signaling equipment and changea signal aspect in front of a driver.You must not allow any metal object near signaling equipmentor within 300mm of an axle counter head, as this could interferewith its operation.Axle counters

241.5 TelephonesThere are many telephones on the railway. Most of them gostraight through to the controlling signal box.The most common are lineside phones (usually found near points)and signal post telephones (SPT). These are identified by the signsshown below.A lineside phoneA signal post telephoneOther signs are also displayed on railway phones.Emergency telephoneA phone to theelectrical control roomGeneral railway phonesLevel CrossingphoneAn emergencyphone

251.6 Limited clearancesOn some parts of the railway, the space between the track and thenearest wall or structure is very narrow. These are areas of limitedclearance. The sign shown below means there is no position ofsafety on this side of the railway for the length of the structurebeyond it.A refuge is a place where it is safe for you to stand when a train ispassing. They can be built out over an embankment or cut into thewall of a viaduct, cutting or tunnel.Examples of refugesTunnels can be very dangerous places and people are not allowedto work in most tunnels whilst trains are running. If you areallowed in, make sure you know where the nearest positionof safety is – usually in a refuge.

26You must also have a hand lamp or head lamp with you if you areentering a tunnel, working during the hours of darkness, or if thevisibility is poor.The sign shown below means there are no positions of safety orrefuges on this side of the railway, but there are on the other side.This sign speaks for itself – the areabeyond it is too dangerous for peoplewhilst trains are running. You canonly go past it if you are carrying outemergency protection, or if trainshave been stopped.


others are just rough paths. Details are given in a document called the Hazard Directory. 1.3 Signals Most running lines have signals to control the trains. Generally, signals are operated from a signal box and have an identifying number displayed on them. Signals are usually attached to posts alongside the track but can also be found on overhead gantries or on the ground. Modern signals tend .

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