National Rail has issued the following safety advice concerning social distancing. 

Issued to: All Network Rail line managers, safety professionals and accredited contractors

Ref: NRA20-03

Date of issue: 16/04/2020

Location: National


During the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, a number of changes to the way we work have been implemented to maintain social distancing measures on and whilst travelling to worksites. Over the Easter weekend works, some reports indicate social distancing protocols were breached. Particular areas of concern were areas that staff mustered, such as signing-in points, site accesses, briefing areas and while travelling to site. During these times, it was reported that large groups were not keeping to recommended distancing and possibly compromising their own and others health.

During periods of shift change or handover the unsafe behaviour increased.

Social distancing controls are in place for the rail industry at all times, including while travelling, and in depots, office sites, rest areas and worksites. It is vitally important for the health of all railway colleagues that social distancing requirements are followed at all times and not just during a risk assessed task.

Please refer to NR-L3-MTC-CP009-COVID-19 Safe Working Practices for further details.

Immediate action required

Questions to ask yourself

You must always try to be socially distant – i.e. 2m away from someone else, unless walking past them.

Once signed in please move away from other people.

Plan the movement of people, shift changes and handover to avoid large numbers of people gathering in one location.

How can you encourage social distancing on site? Can walkways be segregated (e.g. one way systems)?

Consider using physical markers, such as hazard tape on the ground.

How are you asking your staff to sign/swipe in?

How do you promote hand washing with soap, water or hand sanitiser?

*The source of this information is the Safety Bulletins from National Rail and can be found here