HR team acts to ease rail tragedy

Rail operator WAGN’s HR team rallied to help staff and passengers affected
by the Potters Bar train crash within minutes of the tragedy.

The 14-strong HR team responded to the news of the appalling accident, which
killed seven people and injured 76, by holding a brief contingency planning
meeting to assess how best to use their resources.

Half the team then rushed to the four local hospitals and police station to
provide support for victims and their families, including organising food,
accommodation and transport.

HR director at WAGN, Andy Meadows, co-ordinated the operation, which
included arranging counselling for passengers and staff.

"It was a trying time but we had to get through it," he said.
"The team was superb and we did everything that we could."

Meadows, who has attended three funerals of crash victims over the last
week, contacted senior HR colleagues in the rail industry who had handled
similar incidents to check his contingency plan. "They were a tremendous
help. You can prepare, but you must make sure that every angle has been
covered," he said.

He was extremely pleased with the actions of three of WAGN’s train staff at
the scene, who acted immediately to contact signalling staff to ensure other
trains were diverted from the area as well as looking after traumatised

The HR team has been in regular communication with staff to keep morale high
and inform them of the counselling hotline and other services.

The team is now in conversation with managers to identify which of its 1,800
staff are most in need of counselling.

Meadows said the HR team will continue to support and be a contact for those
involved. It has kept a log of all events, which will be used for a thorough
de-briefing session in a few weeks’ time.

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