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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 2 (June, 1926)

Safety First

page 40

Safety First

The following is a copy of a pamphlet issued by the Board of Management for the guidance of those engaged in shunting duties:—

Shunting Risks. Avoid Danger!

  • (1) Don't take unnecessary risks, even if others do. The safe course is the best.

  • (2) Give signals promptly and distinctly.

  • (3) Keep a good look-out ahead of wagons standing foul or coming in another direction.

  • (4) Don't walk unnecessarily between rails, or step back on to them, without looking.

  • (5) Don't walk across a track through steam or smoke.

  • (6) When bringing wagons to a stand at the end of a road allow a length or two for bumping and put one or more brakes hard down.

  • (7) Use a trailing brake for preference—it is less dangerous.

  • (8) Look out for bad buffers. Mark “Dangerous” any wagons with damage to buffers.

  • (9) Beware of wagons entering sheds or narrow limits.

  • (10) Ride on the step of wagons for preference.

  • (11) Don't attempt to jump on the front of a fast-moving engine.

  • (12) Don't cross over the cowcatcher in front of a moving engine.

  • (13) Don't cross legs getting on or off moving vehicles.

  • (14) Don't attempt to couple or break couplings of moving wagons and don't attempt to move wagons while being coupled or uncoupled.

  • (15) Don't cross over between fast-moving wagons.

  • (16) In cutting off wagons face the way the wagons are going. Take a grip of the side of the wagon with the hand not required to lift the hook. It is not necessary to get between the rails to do this.

  • (17) If unable to lift the hook stop the engine.

  • (18) Keep your feet clear of switches and check rails.

  • (19) Don't slip wagons where you can conveniently run round them. It is a dangerous practice.

  • (20) Tail-ropes are dangerous in inexperienced hands.

  • (21) Don't allow an inexperienced mate to do risky jobs.

  • (22) Work where possible on the Driver's side of the engine. He will then get your signal direct.

  • (23) Keep the Driver informed of what you propose to do.

  • (24) Keep your mind concentrated on your job.

  • (25) Keep your mates informed of what you are doing.

  • (26) Don't wear faulty boots or loose clothing.

  • (27) Don't cross the rails in front of a moving vehicle to apply hand brake.

  • (28) When wagons are kicked steady them with hand brake to lessen bump and avoid damage to draw-gear as a broke buffer may result in a member being crushed between two wagons.

  • (29) When turning points press lever down and make certain points are properly set.

* * *

The law of cause and effect takes no account of modern conditions. It was the same when Noah built the Ark as when Dunedin built the Exhibition. But whereas Ham and Shem had little to take their minds off boat building, the modern worker has a thousand outside interests to divert his mental processes from the mechanical work in hand—and with every diversion the hazards are multiplied. Hence the need for constant vigilance and observance of the laws of Safety-First.

* * *

“Why does the manager seem so partial to young Saunders?”

“Because he's the only fellow on the staff who isn't taking correspondence lessons to become manager himself!”