Union says we should also remember the lessons learned in a safety-critical industry

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Rail, Transport (ITF), ASLEF,

HatfieldASLEF has paid tribute to those who died in the Hatfield train crash 15 years ago today.

Four passengers died and more than 70 injured, happened when a train travelling from London to Leeds was derailed in Hertfordshire just before 12.30pm. The accident was later found to have been caused by a faulty rail.

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Today we pause for a moment to remember those who lost their lives, and who were injured, at Hatfield.

“As an industry we should never forget those who died, and all those whose lives were changed, because of the Hatfield rail crash. And, as an industry, we should never forget the lessons that we learned in what is, and always will be, a safety-critical industry.

“Hatfield exposed the serious shortcomings of the privatised infrastructure company Railtrack. The subsequent inquiry revealed that the company – which put profit before safety – had failed in its duty of care to passengers and workers.

“As some people talk about privatising Network Rail we should reflect on what that means and where it goes. Private companies put profit – and their dividends to shareholders – before safety and take short cuts which result in accidents, injuries and deaths.

“In a safety critical industry there is no room for a company, or chief executive, who wants his managers to take short cuts at the expense of fare-paying passengers, and those of us who work in the industry, and put safety, delivery, and public service first.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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