Chris Foreman

Chris Foreman

Country Manager, UK and Ireland at Schweizer Electronic AG

Warrington House, Claymore Tame Valley Industrial Estate, Wilnecote, Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
HQ Phone:
+44 1827 289996

General Information


Consultant  - Kingsley & Partners

Operations Director  - CPI Group Ltd

Recent News  

Chris Foreman, UK Operations Manager - Schweizer Electronic Limited

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'It's a lot to do with a perception that ATWS is expensive and an inconsistent implementation of RiMini' commented Chris Foreman, General Manager of Schweizer Electronic Ltd, 'although ATWS is taught as part of Personal Track Safety (PTS), there's not enough understanding of what it does and its cost benefits compared to traditional forms of track worker protection'.
Carrying out maintenance work on the busiest lines under possession is likely to get more difficult as steps taken to implement a 7 day railway continue, particularly when you consider that an extended timetable means more trains with correspondingly more maintenance work, but shorter possession availability to achieve it. 'Some delivery units already experience short and unreliable line blockages which impacts on productivity' said Chris Foreman 'in addition some contractors have told us that although they pay their track workers for a full shift, they may only get a few hours of productive time on the track. What's frustrating is that the contractor can see the benefits of using an ATWS system but hasn't the motivation to use it when the network are happy to pay for the cost inefficiencies'. A lookout is likely to make a mistake every 1000 actions Perhaps more concerning than the wasted productivity opportunities, are instances where ATWS has not been fully evaluated as an option before reverting to lookouts. With more stringent legislation, you might expect delivery units to be more conscious of proving that appropriate steps have been taken to minimise risks. 'ATWS providers still come across instances where ATWS could have provided a cost effective form of work protection, taking less than 25% of the total project time to install it ', continued Chris Foreman 'but for whatever reason an ATWS system was not even considered. An ATWS system rated at SIL3 (Safety Integrity Level 3) only theoretically fails once every 10,000 years, or practically never, whereas a lookout rated at SIL0 is likely to make a mistake every 1000 actions'. With such compelling reasons to use it, how can ATWS providers help the rail industry increase the usage of ATWS and benefit from its safety and productivity improvements? 'It's probably just as simple as giving an ATWS provider a chance to quote' claimed Chris Foreman 'we believe that most delivery units that trial ATWS will not want to revert back to the traditional ways of warning track workers. This 'Catch-22' situation is felt most by the rail construction and delivery units who can struggle to get a possession on some of the main routes. 'We are seeing increasing numbers of clients with this type of problem' says Chris Foreman, General Manager of Schweizer Electronic UK. 'Clients are under increasing pressure to bring jobs in on budget, but are finding it very difficult when access is limited on complex track. 'You'd be surprised how many sites are suitable for ATWS' says Chris Foreman, 'giving Schweizer or one of our approved partners a call is the first step to determining suitability.

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