News story: Runaway trolley on the East Lancashire Railway

first_img the planning of the work and actions of those involved the training and competence of those involved the management of the condition and use of trolleys on the railway any underlying management factors Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.You can subscribe to automated emails notifying you when we publish our reports. This item has been moved to the National Archives as RAIB has published its report describing this incident. See report 18/2018.,At around 11:15 hours on Thursday 15 March 2018, a group of track workers were working in a possession on the East Lancashire Railway north of Ramsbottom station. They were using an un-braked trolley to transport ballast over the prevailing gradient in that area, which is between 1:264 and 1:140. In order to prevent it running away while being loaded, pieces of ballast were used as improvised scotches.After being loaded with approximately 0.5 tonnes of ballast, the improvised scotches were removed and three members of the team began to move the trolley southwards, downhill towards Ramsbottom station. Shortly after this the trolley began to run away and the track workers were unable to stop it.The trolley continued south until the level crossing immediately north of the station. The wooden gates at the crossing were closed across the railway allowing road traffic to pass. The trolley struck the gates and derailed, damaging and displacing one of the gates into the road and spilling ballast onto the road. Although the road was open to traffic no one was injured.The RAIB’s investigation will determine the sequence of events and include consideration of:last_img read more

15 Secrets to Great Subject Lines

first_imgKatya’s note: The name of a white paper recently caught my eye – it promised 15 rules to good email subject lines. My marketing colleague Rebecca Ruby here at Network for Good was interested too — and lucky for us, she read it and summarizes it here for us. Thanks Rebecca!By Rebecca Ruby, marketing maven at Network for GoodLyris HQ has a great a white paper “Email Subject Lines: 15 Rules to Write Them Right,” which highlights the make-or-break importance of subject lines. It’s well worth taking a few moments to go through their registration and obtain your own copy, but here my favorite highlights:•Test! Test subject lines. Write them early (not at the last minute). Test again, measure results, and use those analytics to drive future content.•Structure and content are both important. You need to be cognizant of where the key info goes, as well as how strong your call-to-action is.•Subject lines play into trust-building. The subject line can include a branding element or another device to tie to the “from” address. A quick way to kill that positive messaging? Stretching the truth about what’s inside the message.Here’s a breakdown of their entire list:1. Read the newspaper. Newspaper headlines highlight a story’s most important fact in a limited space—which is coincidentally exactly what marketing email subject lines should do.2. There is no sure-fire formula. Subject lines are non-recyclable and not necessarily the same when sending different types of campaigns.3. Test, test, test. According to rule 2, there’s not a surefire winner, so be sure to allow time for testing.4. Support the “from” line. The “from” tells recipients who sent the message, and the subject line sells that recipient on whether to open it. You don’t need to repeat your company name in the subject, but do consider some subject-line branding (ex: the name of the newsletter).5. List key info first. Put the key information in the first 50 characters. Not sure where the subject line will be cut off? Send it to yourself to test and check!6. Open rates don’t always measure subject-line success. Your end goal is not necessarily high open rate, but to have subscribers take a specific action. Focus on those results instead of open-rate numbers.7. Personalize. Personalize subject lines based on your recipients’ content preferences and/or interests, and then be sure to make it easy for readers to find and update this information upon receiving your message.8. Urgency drives action. Set deadlines for action, and consider using a series: “Only five days left until–!” followed up later in the week with, “Just 24 hours left until–”9. Watch those spam filters. Run your copy through a content checker to identify spam-like words, phrases and construction. A couple of big no-no’s: all capital letters and excessive use of exclamation points.10. “Free” is not evil. As a follow-up to number 9, avoid putting the word “free” first, but you needn’t leave it out entirely.11. Lead, but don’t mislead. Subject lines are not the place to overpromise. Be truthful about whatever the text claims to avoid distrust.12. Write and test early and often. Flip your thinking: Craft and test your subject line prior to composing the rest of your message. (Remember rule 3?)13. Review subject-line performance over your last several campaigns or newsletters. Not only will this type of data-mining shed light on your subject-line successes (highest conversation rates, click-through rate, etc.), it will drive future content strategies.14. Continue the conversation. Sending campaigns more frequently than once per month or quarter helps create a back-and-forth with readers, and also allows for content follow-up if something from a previous campaign has news.15. Can you pass the must-open/must-read test? Must-read means this: If a subscriber doesn’t open the email, they will feel like they are out of the loop and may have missed an offer they will regret not taking advantage of. Also, be sure to check out whether your message is going to the bulk-folder (see rule 9).last_img read more

Informal Workers Make Cities Work For All: 3 Stories from Thailand, India and Colombia

first_imgWaste Pickers in Bogota, Colombia – A 2014 national decree ruled that cities across Colombia should develop solid waste management schemes which recognize and pay waste pickers to collect, transport and sort recyclable waste. This was the result of decades of advocacy by waste pickers in Bogota, who convinced the municipal government to pay for their services. Since that ruling, as a result of the joint efforts of the Asociación de Recicladores de Bogotá (ARB) and WIEGO, eight other cities across Colombia are now paying waste pickers for their waste collection and recycling services, which benefit everyone by keeping the streets clean and diverting recyclables from landfills.Finding Win-Win Solutions—TogetherThese cities, and others, have demonstrated that when informal workers are recognized and protected, everyone wins. This requires collaboration among city governments, civic organizations, worker associations and other key stakeholders.Cities need to examine their policies and practices with a view to empowering informal workers. That means first stopping the practices that impact negatively on informal work, such as harassment, evictions, and relocations. Second, in a more positive approach, cities need to actively support informal workers by providing access to public goods and public spaces, social protection and improved services. Finally, and most importantly, they must give informal worker organizations a seat at the policy table. Including the voice of informal workers (and other stakeholders) in the formal processes of urban governance is the best way to negotiate policies and plans that balance competing interests and promote social justice.For cities to be more equal and meet the global commitments to inclusive, fair and sustainable cities in UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 11 and the New Urban Agenda of Habitat III, it is imperative that urban informal workers are recognized, valued and supported. 3 Inclusive Cities That Found Creative Ways to Work with Informal WorkersRattana Chalermchai works with her husband, Mongkol, at home. A former factory worker, Rattana was laid off during the economic crisis in 1997. She now supplies hand-made flip-flops to a resort. She and her husband are long-time members of HomeNet Thailand, and have contributed to several policy campaigns for informal workers, including the Universal Healthcare Coverage. Through HomeNet, they have also helped Thailand’s home-based garment workers to officially register themselves as a garment cooperative. As legal entity, the cooperative has broadened opportunities to get work orders, and more importantly, strengthen a movement of home-based workers. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Reportage). In many cities of the global south, population growth is exceeding employment growth. This trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future, and, as a result, the informal economy will continue to expand. If the informal economy creates more jobs than the formal economy and significantly contributes to economic productivity, shouldn’t cities embrace it?Instead, informal workers are often stigmatized and penalized for simply trying to earn a living. Everyone depends on the informal economy in some way, either directly or indirectly through its linkages with the formal economy. Yet, cities continue to ignore the clear majority of the working poor in the informal economy, who face harassment, including evictions from their homes and workplaces and confiscation of their goods.“The most pressing challenge for urban informal workers is that they are not recognized as legitimate actors,” says Martha Chen, co-founder of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) and a co-author of the paper. “There are dominant narratives that say that they are illegal, they are criminal, they have low productivity, they are a drag on the economy. And these dominant narratives are then reflected in the city’s policies, plans and practices, making it very difficult for them to earn an honest living in a very harsh regulatory environment.” In the new World Resources Report paper, we focused on three types of informal workers—home-based workers, street vendors and waste pickers—who represent a significant share of the urban self-employed who are directly impacted by city policies. The paper highlights several examples of inclusionary policies and practices which have resulted from the successful collaboration between inclusive cities and informal worker organizations.Home-Based Workers in Bangkok, Thailand – An organization of home-based informal workers who produce a range of goods and services from their homes, HomeNet Thailand, convinced relevant government agencies to address the transportation needs of informal workers resettled on the periphery of the city. As a result, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) approved two additional buses from the resettlement area to a main market area and has promised to build a pedestrian bridge over a dangerous road crossing in the resettlement area. Persistent advocacy work also led to the Homeworkers Protection Act and Domestic Workers Ministerial Regulation, which entitle home-based workers and domestic workers in Thailand to a minimum wage, occupational health and safety protection, and other fundamental labor rights.Street Vendors in Bhubaneshwar, India – City authorities worked with the street vendors’ organization to develop an inclusive model creating 54 dedicated vending zones and approximately 2,600 kiosks for informal street vendors to operate from. Under this arrangement, city residents can continue benefiting from street vendor activities, while the vendors can operate in designated zones without the risk of harassment or confiscation. Bhubaneshwar became one of the first cities in India to acknowledge street vendors as an integral part of the city and designated space for them through a complex public, private and community partnership model.Sonia Janeth Barriga, a waste picker member of Asochapinero—an affiliate of the Asociación de Recicladores de Bogotá (ARB), an organization of waste pickers’ associations and cooperatives that advocates for waste pickers’ rights—transports recyclable materials with a tricycle. In this neighbourhood, Chapinero, she has negotiated with building administrators, neighbours, and hotel managers to be able to collect their recyclables. Being part of an organization has been instrumental to her success in these negotiations. (Photo by Juan Arredondo/Reportage by Getty Images). Think of the delicious food stands in Southeast Asia, the street performers in Africa, the rickshaw driver in Bangladesh, and the invisible home-based workers who embroider garments and stitch shoes in India. What do they all have in common? They are all part of the global informal workforce.Most of us do not realize how many people are employed in the informal economy and how much they contribute collectively to the urban and national economy. A new World Resources Report paper, “Including the Excluded: Supporting Informal Workers for More Equal and Productive Cities in the Global South,” shows that informal workers are crucial to economies around the world—and urges new policy approaches to support them.Globally, informal employment represents just over 60 percent of total employment and nearly 44 percent of urban employment. In some cities of the global south, the informal economy employs 80 percent of the working population.As huge as the informal economy is, governments rarely plan for or accommodate informal workers. Economists, urban planners and development practitioners have long assumed that with development, the informal economy would wither away. But this has not happened—the informal economy is large, diverse and persistent.In Mexico, informal workers make up 60 percent of the workforce and generate 30 percent of the country’s gross value added (GVA). In India, 36 percent of all enterprises are informal and home-based. Overall, estimates indicate that outside agriculture, informal enterprises generate one-quarter to one-half of GVA: 50 percent in countries in West Africa, 46 percent in India, 29 percent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and 25 percent in Latin America.The informal economy is an integral feature of the economic landscape of cities. It is time for cities to recognize and value the contribution of informal workers. If cities aspire to increase economic productivity, the way forward is to include informal workers in the formal processes and institutions of urban governance, planning and finance.Apply for the WRI Ross Prize for CitiesKnow about an initiative that has transformed a city to create positive environmental, social or economic ripple effects? Help take it to the next level with a $250,000 Ross Prize for Cities. Submissions close June 30th, 2018. Learn more here.The Informal Economy: Large, Persistent and Diverselast_img read more