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Published on : Saturday, December 19, 2015
Network Rail and the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) have launched a Christmas campaign reminding people to take extra care in stations to reduce festive falls and “Lend a Helping Hand” to each other, as new figures reveal that the average number of “slips, trips and fall” incidents is 20% higher in the month of December than any other month.
Over the past five years rail passengers have stepped on and off trains more than 15 billion times. The figures show that on average members of the public report 396 accidents within the 2,500 stations on the rail network each month. However, this average jumps to 480 for the month of December. December 2014 saw the highest number of recorded incidents in ten years, with over 550 slips, trips and falls within stations.
There are a number of factors which contribute to a rise in the number of slips, trips and falls in stations during December:
an increase in the number of leisure travellers, who are less familiar with using stations
an increase in the number of passengers with luggage travelling home or visiting family and friends
station visitors are laden with heavy shopping bags
icy and wet weather conditions
it’s the festive party season
RSSB’s Director of Research and Standards Mark Phillips commented, “As it’s Christmas party season and we move closer to the festive getaway, the risk of slipping or falling at a station increases.
“With December confirmed as having the highest level of accidents, we have created the “Lend a Helping Hand” campaign which aims to reach out to every member of the travelling public. However, we can’t afford to be complacent and must bear this advice in mind all year round.”
Graham Hopkins, Director of Safety at Network Rail said: “Stations get really busy at this time of year. People carrying extra luggage, or lots of Christmas presents, coupled with bad weather and perhaps a drink or two, can all lead to an increase in accidents.
“We’re doing all we can to remove potential hazards in stations, keeping the floor dry and encouraging station staff to help where they can, but we need passengers to do their bit too. Please don’t rush for your train, especially if you have luggage; be extra cautious if you’ve had a few drinks; and in the spirit of Christmas, consider your fellow passengers. If you see someone struggling with bags, prams, luggage or they just seem a little unsteady on their feet, lend a helping hand or ask a member of the station staff to.”