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SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    I thought SVR volunteer Andy Stringer's piece in https://www.svrlive.com/epjun21 was very powerful - " The reality is that the UK’s health & safety legislation has made us the safest country in the world to go to work in, bar none. We have an incredibly safe place to live and work in, a far cry from the 1950s and 60s, the halcyon days of turning a blind eye to colleagues going home injured, or not going home at all [..] Without doubt, I would rather discuss your next 30 minutes with a barman than with a surgeon."

    Patrick
     
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  2. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I’m not sure that we are the safest country in the world and life wasn’t like that in the 60s, the only difference was that people were responsible for their own stupidity and no one was frightened because the pass the blame culture could put them in jail.
    We are now in danger of trying to make life so safe it won’t be worth living.
    The SVR policy on safety does seem a bit illogical, they have identified that it’s not safe to issue lineside permits but anyone who already has one can keep it until renewal. It’s either safe or it’s not, it doesn’t suddenly become a hazard the day after the permit expires.
    I have a PTS card that allows me trackside on the big railway, including the third rail and 25kv overhead when required as part of support crew duties. Does that mean I’m in danger on a 25mph heritage line?
    If I want to keep totally safe I would never go, the road journey to and from home is far more hazardous than anything I’ve ever done on any railway
     
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  3. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I wouldn’t say it’s illogical at all, more about managing risk, the eventual aim eliminating it.
     
  4. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Well-Known Member

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    I note that the number of deaths in industrial accidents has reduced by over 75% in the last 40 years.

    Does that make life no longer worth living?

    Sent from my SM-G770F using Tapatalk
     
  5. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    Hardly surprising as the amount of industry has reduced drastically, particularly the most dangerous ones such as mining. Those that are left are often now often controlled remotely by computer, I’ve watched a steam hammer bashing red hot metal into shape without anyone being anywhere near the thing.
     
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  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I would be alarmed by a drop in membership. I can't say for other people but a lot of organisations that I am a member of reported an increase in membership during covid. For example, I joined/rejoined a number of groups as a way of supporting them in a more sustained way as opposed to a single one off donation.

    Apologies for the abstract detour - I have mentioned it before but Albert O. Hirschmann's concept of 'exit, voice or loyalty' is one that I think is relevant. I am going to quote the summary from wiki simply because it is the best concise summary of the idea. A comparison with the WSR is instructive. It appears that exit is the dominant response at the SVR (with voice) while voice is dominant at the WSR (although with a high degree of exit as well).

    I would suggest that there is more voice than exit in Somerset because the costs of exit are the line going to the wall. There are low costs associated with exiting from the SVR. Paradoxically, for all of the heat and noise (if not much light) in Somerset there is plenty of voice so we know the problems, with the SVR we have a decline in membership but relatively little voice to tell us why, although the voice we do hear is fairly clear. I would also suggest that the comments about the nature of the SVR not being the organisation that people joined points to an erosion of loyalty, hence making exit easier.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  7. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

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    Hirschmann explains my relationship adequately:

    Exit - I will no longer be donating or supporting the SVR in any other way since their brutalist approach to shareholder benefits. With exit, any support that I intend to give to organisations will depend upon the market place, namely organisations that appreciate donors with a quid-pro-quo relationship.
    Voice - My exit provides a voice to dissatisfaction with their approach. Voice is often a good metric for determining the decline or success of an organisation.
    Loyalty - Is the loss of any support that I gave to the railway in previous years. Along with others, the loss of loyalty will result in lost income unless the SVR come to realise the invisible hand of the market place and decide to regain support of previous or future shareholders.

    I know that many feel tethered to the SVR in a relationship whatever the weather but I operate in the market place, without sense of obligation.
     
  8. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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    Heritage railways aren't really a business though, as they currently need a constant prop/support from supporters groups, appeals & legacies.
    Anyone with a memory of mainline steam in the UK is going to be 60+, with a big chunk of them being 70+.

    What's your plan for 2030, when a lot of that support will be gone?
    2040?


    How do you know?
    Appeals are often reported on in the local media, & of course railways promote them on their own websites & social media.
    Grants come from the public purse, so aren't 'enthusiast' money.



    H&SWA has been around since 1974, but H&S in the UK has been around since the 1840's.

    So, anyone volunteering/working on a heritage railway since 1974 will have been used to H&S from their workplace.
    It will have also protected the railways themselves, as I doubt any of them then could have survived the financial implications of a death/major injury.
     
  9. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    It will have also protected the railways themselves, as I doubt any of them then could have survived the financial implications of a death/major injury.

    Several railways have experienced fatalities as a result of H & S lapses in various forms. Whilst they gave all concerned a nasty shock I don't think any them have been brought to the edge of extinction as a result. That is nothing to be complacent or proud of but does show that hyperbolism in the opposite direction isn't warranted either.
     
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  10. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    I worked for a company that disregarded H&S as the Company's attitude was ....'we don't care'. 400 tons of domestic waste caught fire in a shed, ( was not supposed to be stored in a shed), much of this untreated waste was plastics, certain staff were told to extinguish the fire with the sites hoses. 4 hours later the fire was considered extinguished. The toxic smoke resulted in myself having a very sore throat for over five days. Many other incidents occurred. The last incident resulted in myself having three vertebra fractured due to this company's negligence. this happened in May this year. I am not a great deal better off health wise since. So some people complain about H&S. How insensitive and selfish you must be.
     
  11. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    For that they could have been prosecuted under the old factories act
     
  12. 3ABescot

    3ABescot Member

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    Absolutely, puts it into perspective.
     
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  13. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. A contributing factor in the H&SAWA was the difficulty in getting convictions under the Factories/Shops, Offices and Railways Premises Acts and the clearer offence of failing to ensure a safe system of work. All debates for 1974.

    However much you might think it should be otherwise, heritage railways such as the SVR exist in a world of ORR and ROGS. It demands different attitudes, skills, behaviours, equipment, systems of work and organisation that the pioneers faced. Excoriating those with the responsibility for doing so (and putting themselves in the firing line when doing so) is pretty pointless IMO

    Patrick


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  14. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    My reasons for giving up SVR membership has nothing to do with H&S, other railways face the same restrictions but still manage to hold specialist events. As I said my impression is that it’s not now the happy place it was and that must be down to the management and is a great shame. A declining membership should sound warning bells
     
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  15. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

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    It will have a declining number of donors too - the very people that support the railway financially.
     
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  16. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    It is always inevitable that a change in management causes issues. In the last 18-24 months, most of the higher management of the company has changed. These people are new to the railway world so will still be learning how things are/ have been done. The problem is the railway is on a warning from the ORR. Any more safety related incidents and peoples livelihood and hobbies could will be in jeopardy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
  17. MikeParkin65

    MikeParkin65 Member Friend

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    I'm not sure the drop in membership is entirely deliberate. I didnt realise my 3 year membership had ended until I noticed I hadnt had a SVR News for what seemed like a long time. Emailed the membership email and left a voicemail but received no response. Rang the following week and got through to someone. She said 'a lot of people in the same position - didnt realise there membership had expired'. SVR could have been more proactive in chasing me (and presumably others) up and whilst I know these are still strange times they could have responded to my email and/or my voicemail. Shouldn't need to chase them to give them money!

    Also I agree with various points made earlier about the railway shouldnt under estimate the value both cash and in kind of enthusiasts. Its been glorious weather in Worcestershire this week - photo charters definately would have got multipage spreads in the railway press, probably the National Press too with a bit of prompting from the paid management who I presume know how to reach these targets.
     
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  18. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    This came as news to me!
     
  19. 5801

    5801 New Member

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    Me too! What safety-related incidents are you referring to?
     
  20. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    as a broad rule safety incidents are not always broadcast and will be dealt with internally and with the relevant bodies

    Any line which has incidents , which could be operating , could be individual H&S related (slips trips fall) will be under increased scrutiny firstly to have steps and processes incase to avoid a recurrence and secondly that all the broader SMS is fit for purpose

    As one railway manager is rumoured to have said as the ORR called "can't you just leave us alone for five minutes"
     

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