Regional Organiser writes to London Underground to raise serious safety concerns

RMT London Transport Regional Organiser John Leach has written to London Underground's Head of Security Operations Jill Collis following an important health and safety meeting.

London Underground's 'HOT' procedure and guidelines for dealing with a security incident were discussed at the meeting. The RMT have serious concerns with the responses given to both issues as outlined in John Leach's letter.

If you have any comments or concerns relating to the situation discussed in the letter below, please speak to your local health and safety rep.

Jill Collis
Head of Safety Operation
London Underground Ltd
11th Floor, Blackfriars Road

15th June 2017

Dear Jill   


As you are aware we had a special Health & Safety Forum on Tuesday 13th June 2017 whereat a number of very serious issues were raised upon which I feel compelled to comment further and to ask that appropriate attention is given by yourself.


LUL has made it known that they were in the process of issuing an updated HOT procedure which obliges staff to look into unattended bags. Furthermore, the principal of the first person on site being able to declare an emergency evacuation will be changed to one whereby such a declaration can be challenged by a manager.

On both principles we flatly refuse to accept that this is safe, nor is it current practice.  We will advise our members, therefore, to follow current procedures and so maintain the highest level of safety, vigilance and concern.


It is clear to us that the required level of knowledge and preparedness on these matters is far too low; some staff know, others do not. In some cases entire sections of the workforce , Engineering for example, would not know what to do in situations such as these and as I intimated, within frontline sections such as Stations and Trains is it at best hit and miss.  

I was extremely concerned with the response we received at the forum meeting and the events of 8th June at West Ham Station simply epitomise what a serious shambles affairs are in at the moment. Here is clear evidence of a fundamental breakdown in your own processes and procedures.

I raise the above matters as ones that the company must urgently attend to. I know that it has been the matter of a few days since the H&S Forum met, but it would have been a dereliction of duty not to write to you today given what was told to us. This said, RMT offers nothing but its full assistance in remedying things.

Yours sincerely

John Leach