Forte Engineering partners with Rail Safe Friendly

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Forte Engineering is partnering with Rail Safe Friendly to help educate children and young people on staying safe around the railway and stations across the UK.

As a Bronze level partner, Forte Engineering is sponsoring 10 schools to become Rail Safe Friendly certified, demonstrating that pupils have engaged with safety content on the potential dangers of rail infrastructure, including trespassing on the network and the risk of electric shock from overhead line equipment.

Rail Safe Friendly, which is run by digital education provider Learn Live, was launched in March 2023 and delivers Network Rail’s video safety content directly to schools via the Learn Live Channel. Already, over 1,400 schools are on board with the programme across the UK and industry partners including Network Rail, ScotRail, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and British Transport Police.

Rail Safe Friendly is a new addition to the Learn Live Channel, which since 2019, has broadcast Network Rail and other safety content directly to over 21 million young people in more than 12,500 schools across the UK. This work has been undertaken in collaboration with the Trespass Improvement Team at Network Rail.

The broadcasts are delivered through live or on demand content digitally into classrooms and assembly halls via the Learn Live channel. The channel also has a moderated, GDPR compliant LIVE CHAT facility to promote interaction and involvement from the schools and colleges taking part in Rail Safe Friendly.

Derek Riddell, Forte Engineering Managing Director said: “Rail safety is so important as it impacts on most people’s daily lives, whether travelling on trains or not. Not all adults are aware of the dangers rail infrastructure poses, let alone children.

The main reason for us joining RSF came following a discussion with our QSE Manager who had seen a Rail Safe Friendly presentation by Learn Live Managing Director Stuart Heaton at an industry event. He shared ‘Harrison’s story’ with us, which noticeably impacted on the team, especially those with young children. Harrison died at a train depot after climbing over a fence to retrieve his football and receiving a fatal electric shock. We want to help make sure tragedies like the one which happened to Harrison don’t happen again and Rail Safe Friendly provides us with the platform, tools and resources to do this.

“At Forte, we’re invested in delivering social value through the projects we work on and look forward to hearing about the positive impact the RSF programme will have on schools local to our offices and projects across the UK."

Forte Engineering joins a growing number of companies within the rail industry supporting the Rail Safe Friendly program. The collective goal is to ensure comprehensive rail safety education reaches all schools in the UK over the next five years.

Stuart Heaton, Managing Director of Learn Live, said: “We are delighted to welcome Forte Engineering as a partner of the Rail Safe Friendly programme. It is only through the support of industry that we are able to spread vital rail safety messages to as many young people as possible. Thank you to Forte Engineering for their active role in Rail Safe Friendly.”

View Derek's full interview.

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