Many rail workers have failed to report minor injuries and accidents, blamed by a A culture of pressure and fear claims a new report by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).

It believes that in the five years between 2005/06 and 2009/10, between 500 and 600 injuries under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) might not have been reported. The injuries mainly occurred on infrastructure projects.

The report said: “The under-reporting of RIDDOR lost time injuries has occurred because of the change in both the culture of Network Rail and its relationship with its contractors since 2005.

“These changes are a result of the real and perceived pressure and, in some cases, fear felt by Network Rail staff and contractors if they report accidents or incidents.

“From the evidence gathered in the review, we consider this real and perceived pressure and fear have arisen as unintended consequences of the Network Rail implementation of the overall strategy for safety (which was consciously designed to improve safety), based on the use of quantitative safety targets, safety performance measures, league tables and contractual requirements linked to the number of reported RIDDOR lost time injuries, other management actions, such as the frequent company reorganisations, and the application of a managing for attendance policy.”