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64 Pages

Rail engineering work and maintenance

The railway has been described as a large, complex socio-technical system (Wilson et al., 2007). Events, operations, people, and technologies are widely distributed across large geographic locations and over time. Maintaining and renewing the infrastructure is an important part of the system and there has been a growing human factors interest in this area. The focus areas of our work are on the methods used for protecting workers whilst accessing and egressing the infrastructure as well as during work itself. This paper reports on the preliminary findings fromwork carried out jointly between human factors researchers at the Centre for Rail Human Factors at the University of Nottingham and the Ergonomics Team at Network Rail. It provides a discussion on the main principles for protecting workers during engineering work and the associated human factors for consideration.