December 12, 2017

Personal Track Safety: What you need to know

Personal Track Safety (PTS) is a system of safer working practices employed within the United Kingdom designed to ensure the safety of railway workers who have to work on the lineside.

PTS ensures that rail workers are aware of their surroundings so that they do not enter situations where the aforementioned accidents are likely to occur, are able to move around the lineside safely and are able to react appropriately to circumstances (e.g. the approach of a train).

PTS Certificate

A PTS Certificate is required before anybody is allowed to work within the boundary of Network Rail tracks in the UK (on or near the line). It is also a requirement in the Republic of Ireland. Any potential employee must undergo a medical and a drug and alcohol test before attending a personal track safety course.

The PTS Certificate lists competencies held by the person named on the card. this may include:

  • Medical Certificate (expiry dependent on age)
  • PTS (AC or DC) (expiry 2 years)
  • PICOP, COSS, IWA or others

To work on or near the track involves certification for the individual employee of which there are several levels of competence and responsibility which are assessed.

The medical assessment undertaken for PTS certification does not address the medical specificity for tasks that an individual may be expected to undertake in their normal duties when actually working on the track. i.e. operating machinery or responsibility for other staff requires a higher level of assessment for the job specification and procedures.

The medical assessment for these certificates must be undertaken by an accredited medical provider. In the case of PTS this is authorised by the “Link up procedure” under the authority of Network Rail.

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