Tier 4 & new coronavirus strain

The announcement of Tier 4 came to a shock to the country with even more strain being put on Service Control to keep the service running for those essential workers relying on us.

The Health & Safety of our members come first and with the new strain of Coronavirus we have immediately contacted London Underground to make sure safety is not compromised for service.


Letter to London Underground

Monday 21st December

Tier 4 – New Strain of Coronavirus – Service Control

Following the Government announcement on Saturday 19
th December with London and surrounding areas going into Tier 4 to control the spread of the new strain of coronavirus and following multiple outbreaks in control rooms we are writing for reassurances regarding the situation for our members in control rooms, signal cabins and out on the network.

We understand network wide policy will be put in place but it is imperative that we look at and support Service Control; for staff health & safety and because it is core to service delivery for which our members have played a key part in achieving this year.

1.    CEV (Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) & Shielding
Can you please confirm that CEV Service Control staff will now not be required to attend their workplace and are to remain at home.
Can you please confirm the process for any staff that might require to shield for members of their household that are CEV.

2.    Training
Can you please confirm that any training without screens and 2m social distancing will cease immediately until suitably risk assessed with the new strain of Coronavirus.

3.    Screens
Can you please confirm that screens will be installed across Service Control locations as a priority and provide dates of this.

4.    NHS Track & Trace App
Can you please confirm that the NHS track & trace app will now be promoted within the workplace and requests from managers to turn it off will cease.

5.    Cleaning
Can you please confirm that cleaning regimes will immediately be improved with daily physical desk/panel cleaning and more regular zoono applications. The current cleaning regime is not up to standard and requires urgent attention.

6.    Protection of Control Rooms
Can you please confirm that un-necessary entry to control rooms will stop immediately and be enforced. Visits to control rooms from non-operational staff must be absolutely essential with strict social distancing measures followed.

7.    Staff Travel
Can you please confirm that funding will be re-introduced for those who wish to drive to work to avoid public transport and those in higher risk groups will be provided staff taxis if necessary. 

8.    Emergency Timetables
Can you please confirm that emergency backup timetables which were agreed by London Underground will now be provided with an expected delivery date. For use if train operator, stock or staff availability reduces and the current timetables are no longer viable.

Due to the urgent nature of this letter and the uncertainty caused by the new restrictions and strain of coronavirus your quick response would be appreciated on this matter.


RMT Service Control T2 & L2 Reps


Below is the London Underground policy on the refusal to work on the grounds of Health & Safety
  • When a member of staff believes it is not safe to continue work, they must stop work and immediately report it to their manager. 
  • The manager must inform the local H&S rep as soon as possible 
  • The manager in consultation with a HSE advisor must determine if there is or isn’t serious or imminent danger and provide reasons why the risk is or isn’t considered ‘as low as reasonably practical’. 
  • The manager must record and communicate this to the member of staff and their H&S rep
  • If there is a failure to agree, the workplace risk assessments (WRA’s) must be reviewed by the manager and HSE advisor. This must be recorded and communicated to the member of staff and their local H&S rep. If a local rep isn’t available, management must report this to Tier 2 
  • If the review confirms the risks are ‘as low as reasonably practical’, the employee will be requested to work normally. 
  • If the review confirms it is unsafe to continue working that way, the manager must explain how the matter will be dealt with and what work can be done in the meantime, if any. 
  • There are slight difference with what to do if the potential danger is affecting more than one location – for example Safety Council MUST be informed as soon as possible and a senior LU manager will be appointed to co-ordinate the actions required. 
  • Whilst the employee waits for the investigation to be fully and properly completed the manager must find reasonable alternative work either within the workplace or at a different workplace location or the employee shall be sent home with no detriment to their pay, terms or conditions. 
  • If there is a failure to agree, the employee has the right of appeal.