The yellow coat of rail workers is disappearing. From 1 July 2019, the entire building will switch to orange work clothing. Never again a sea of yellow vests with a large rail project. Nobody sees the difference between a road worker and a rail worker. Why actually?
The consequences for track builders are huge. Companies such as Strukton, BAM and Volker Rail have to put a lot of effort into replacing all clothing for their rail division. At Strukton, for example, there are 1345 rail people who switch from yellow to orange, a further 566 employees now regularly change jackets and 32 safety people will wear yellow in the future.
Ten pressing questions to safety expert Marcel Edwards, chair of the Safety Alert Working Group of Rail Alert.
Why does the entire rail sector switch to orange vests?
“Because orange vests are just as safe as yellow vests and it is easier and clearer to wear the same color throughout the building. This fits in better with countries around us and is also easier for contractors who work in both construction and the rail sector. Always switching is not handy. ”
Do you no longer see a difference between a road worker and a rail worker?
“That’s right. The safety clothing of road workers will no longer deviate from track workers from 1 July. Bright orange stands out just as well as bright yellow. And working safely, even under dark or wet conditions, is, of course, the whole idea behind safety clothing.
That is why there are strict requirements for the reflective tapes on the clothing. They don’t change, by the way: they remain two horizontal stripes and at least two vertically signaling stripes that run over the shoulders.”
Never again a yellow vest so?
“Well, that’s not entirely true. Those charged with safety at the construction site will continue to wear yellow. From 1 July, these are extra recognizable and are the only ones that deviate. That is conscious so that everyone knows that you should immediately listen if someone with a yellow vest intervenes. ”
So still yellow?
“Yes, that’s right. Safety in rail construction and also the entire construction is an important theme. Collision hazard is still the greatest risk in rail construction. It is then useful if someone with a yellow vest calls out that you must immediately respond to it because you immediately realize “he is watching over my safety”. But they are just a few yellow vests. ”
Are the safety people at the other construction sites also switching to yellow vests?
“Not that I know. That would not be illogical, but Rail Alert is only about the railways.”
What sanctions or fines apply after that time?
“Sanctions do not apply immediately. We have made that agreement across the industry and that usually works just fine. Maybe someone is wearing an orange reflective vest over yellow clothing for a while or someone is being called on for their clothing, but real sanctions usually only have the opposite effect. “