VolkerRail and Network Rail invest in suite of AEDs

In a move to create a safer work environment on the country’s rail network, VolkerRail and Network Rail have invested in 18 automated external defibrillators (AED) which will be placed on VolkerRail’s suite of On-Track Machines (OTMs) and Kirow cranes.


The decision to invest in this life saving equipment follows months of research into the response time of rescue services to active rail sites, and the potential negative impact that delays can have on operatives who need an immediate response.

VolkerRail has one of the UK’s largest fleets of rail plant and equipment and is responsible for Network Rail’s National On-Track Machine contract - supplying OTMs across the London North Eastern and London North Western routes. With its OTMs and Kirow cranes working across 85 percent of the UK’s rail network, VolkerRail developed a potential solution - housing AEDs within each machine for use by anyone on or near site. 

VolkerRail’s HSEQS director, Stuart Webster-Spriggs said: “Research shows that an individual in cardiac arrest is 80 percent more likely to survive if treated immediately with an AED. It was figures like this that prompted us to act.

“Building a safer work environment is an industry-wide commitment and collaborative working to ensure this is a must. Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, anyone within the proximity of our machines will have a much greater chance of survival thanks to this lifesaving equipment.”

The AEDs chosen were selected with the help of Humberside Fire and Rescue, an organisation with which VolkerRail works closely for accident response training and local community projects. To guarantee the AEDs are used correctly, HFR Solutions will be providing VolkerRail’s 45 maintainer operators with full training.

Adrian Fricker, Network Rail’s safety improvement specialist, said: “Every second counts when somebody is experiencing a cardiac arrest and we know that early CPR and access to a defibrillator increases chances of survival. The installation of these AEDs demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the railway is a safe place to work for our staff and contractors.”

 All 18 defibrillators will be installed by the end of July 2019.