By: Ang Yong Guan
The more I think of the 15 SMRT staff walking in a single file along a 0.5m wide walkway next to the train track with train travelling past every 2 to 6 minutes, the more I think how ridiculous it is!. Common sense will dictate that it is dangerous to have 15 staff next to the track when trains are whizzing by at the rate of one per 2 to 6 minutes.
What happened to commonsense? It’s not that common after all.
I saw a documentary showing that in Hong Kong, the MTR maintenance staff only worked from 12 midnight to the next morning 5 to 6am. Of the 4,500 staff, 40% are dedicated to doing maintenance work. They will go to the track during day time ONLY when there is an emergency. Under such situations, the trains affected along that line will have to stop running until the emergency problem is resolved.
SOP / procedures are NOT cast in stone. Therefore, if we have to tweak our SOP / Procedure, the first principle must be DON’T GO TO THE MRT TRACK WHEN TRAINS ARE MOVING UNLESS THERE IS AN EMERGENCY WHEN TRAINS ALONG THE AFFECTED LINE COME TO A STANDSTILL.
If there is a need to go to the track during non-emergency situations, perhaps not more than 3 (4, or 5) persons are allowed. Certainly not 15.
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