TfL told to bolster Underground station safety after man crushed to death at Waterloo

Transport for London (TfL) has been told to improve safety measures at its London Underground stations after a man was crushed to death at Waterloo.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report into the May 2020 incident concludes that a “passenger fell into the gap between the northbound Bakerloo line platform and the train from which he had just alighted”.

It continues: “A large gap existed between the train and the platform because of the track curvature at the location of the passenger’s fall.

“The passenger was unable to free himself and the train departed with the passenger still in the gap, crushing him as it moved off. He remained motionless on the track and was subsequently hit by a second train that entered the station.”

The RAIB report adds that TfL’s current risk assessment system is “incomplete” and has recommended three actions to improve safety measures at Underground stations (see recommendations below).

It adds: “The investigation found that London Underground’s risk assessment processes did not enable the identification and detailed assessment of all factors that contributed to higher platform-train interface (PTI) risk at certain platforms.

“Consequently, although London Underground had implemented some location-specific mitigation measures at the PTI, it had not fully quantified the contribution of curved platforms to the overall PTI risk, and so was unable to fully assess the potential benefits of additional mitigation at these locations.

“The investigation also found that the model used by London Underground to quantify system risk makes no allowance for non-fatal injuries, and so understates the risk of harm to passengers at the PTI and presents an incomplete picture of system risk, with the potential to affect London Underground’s safety decision making.”

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