Former chief executive Mark Carne was presented with a ceremonial sword before leaving Network Rail in recognition of his contribution to improving its safety record.

The award is one of five Safety Swords of Honour given to Infrastructure Projects (IP) Track and its supply chain by the British Safety Council.

IP Track programme director Steve Featherstone said that when Mark arrived from the oil industry in early 2014, the industry he was departing was streets ahead in terms of safety with a lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.1. This was deemed world-class for workforce safety, Steve added.

At the time, IP Track’s LTIFR was 0.468, with colleagues managing high-hazard tasks while delivering approximately £800 million of renewals and enhancements works each year.

With Mark leaving Network Rail, the LTIFR in IP Track stands at 0.085 – better than the oil and gas industry benchmark. Across the company, LTIFR is at 0.352 for the year to date.

To recognise Mark’s part in their achievements, Mark was presented with the sword during a Track Safety Alliance meeting in August.


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Steve Featherstone presenting the Safety Sword of Honour to Mark at a Track Safety Alliance meeting.

Steve Featherstone presenting the Safety Sword of Honour to Mark at a Track Safety Alliance meeting.

Steve said: “Mark was looking for an area of the business to become a beacon of safety and invited me to take up the challenge in IP Track and the supply chain of becoming the first part of Network Rail to be awarded a Safety Sword of Honour.

“He understood that to win a Safety Sword you have to demonstrate on many levels that you are doing the right things to improve safety.”

IP Track and its supply chain went on to achieve two Safety Swords of Honour for High Output, plus one each for Plain Line; Switches and Crossings (S&C) North; and S&C South. British Safety Council-audited data shows a reduction of more than 80 per cent in the number of colleagues injured within IP Track.

Steve continued: “As Mark always says – safety and performance go hand-in-hand. During the same time, IP Track and its supply chain have reduced overruns by 76 per cent, reduced post-installation asset failures by 75 per cent and reduced plant failures by 60 per cent.

“We wanted to recognise Mark’s personal inspiration in making this happen, so presented him with one of our Safety Swords of Honour to keep as a momento of his time as chief executive.”


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