The RailStaff Awards 2022

Eli Dimova

Said the following about Old Oak Common DEM Team:

“The Old Oak Common (OOC) Depot Engineering team at Great Western Railway identified a need to use technology to streamline and advance the fatigue & risk management, staff scheduling, competency records and safety briefing systems. The previous systems used a series of complicated Excel spreadsheets, meaning that access was limited, it wasn’t user friendly and the administration was very time consuming and prone to errors and hidden breaches. At the same time the team also looked upgrade and enhance contractor and visitor management system which was suffering from the same error prone weakness of Excel spreadsheets and human intervention.

Prior to Sirenum, a convoluted collection of Excel spreadsheets was used to manage all the shifts and competencies of staff. These spreadsheets were not only inefficient but also difficult to use. Shift schedules, training, competencies, briefing were divided into multiple sheets and were not working together harmoniously. It was also prone to errors and traceability was poor, which led to major safety concerns. With the new Sirenum system, HSE Fatigue Index levels can be calculated with the click of a button and the shift scheduling, competency and briefing management are consolidated, thus ensuring compliance and overall better managed system for all.

The key feature of Sirenum was the real time fatigue and risk management where all colleagues are managed on a real-time basis. Sirenum’s ability to warn team leaders and management of 'at risk' colleagues when they are nearing their limits to allow action to be taken prior to any breach is innovative and intelligent and has had a major safety benefit. Since the rollout of Sirenum no depot using Sirenum has had a 'Hidden' breach and the depots are conforming to the fatigue and risk guidelines.

Sirenum has also helped to solve the roster access problem. In the past, staff members have complained about being unable to access their rosters. They were often unaware of their future shifts and found it difficult to arrange cover. Sirenum uses cloud-based technology to enable easy access to all staff members in all locations. Now they can see their current shifts, future shifts and any opportunities for overtime with ease. Changes to shifts can be made quickly and staff can instantly be alerted to any changes to their schedules. Sirenum also offers a smart phone app, meaning the roster can be accessed anywhere at work or at home.

The training and competency feature allow all staff training and competency record be updated in the same system. The customised alerts feature immediately let management know if a competency has expired or about to expire. Competency certificates are scanned and uploaded into Sirenum for easy auditing and confirmation of competency dates.

From shift scheduling to competency records, the team has also been enhancing the system to include the tracking of company briefs to staff. This includes safety, technical and environmental brief. Using Sirenum staff can read briefs electronically and acknowledge by signing directly onto the tablet. The alert feature highlights staff that has not read any specific brief. At any time, staff who has or has not been issued a specific brief is visible immediately. Sirenum has completely streamlined brief management. Loss of record when the brief acknowledgement sheet goes missing is now totally avoided.

With more than 7 sites using Sirenum, the total cost saving has exceeded £350,000 without comprising any risks but have made the depots more efficient and a safer place to work. Sirenum is a significant contribution towards Safety Improvement in the rail industry and has set a new standard for best practice. It is uncomplicated and user friendly. The system is unique in being able to also calculate fatigue and risk in real time which is crucial in a safety critical environment.

The use of technology for improvement continued for the team with the introduction of digital visitor and contractor management system (DigiGreet). The rail depot is a high risk area and there are constantly contractors visiting/working at the depot, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The paper sign in system was not reliable and often lacked information which potentially had safety risks. The team came together to customise DigiGreet to suit the safety needs of the railway. With this new system, contractors’ information and scheduled working dates are pre-populated into the system to avoid any errors and confusion. This also minimises the risk of allowing unvetted or non-competent contractors on to the depot. Compared to paper based system, DigiGreet greatly reduces administration costs and time. The system never forgets any visits, management not only can see who is on site at any time, and they can also see times, frequency and a host of other information including Excessive hours to also help manage Safety Critical Contractors.

The Fatigue & Risk and Contractor Management Development Team have shown tremendous leadership and commitment towards continuous improvement for the company, rail industry and most importantly towards delivering a Safer Railway. An efficient management system reduces delay caused by depot and more time is spent on addressing maintenance defects and delivering high performance vehicle for traffic.

They are worthy of recognition because they have gone above and beyond their normal roles to significantly improve safety, productivity and performance and overall have made all the depots a safer place to work.“