Sentinel cards are replacing TfL’s LUCAS smartcard, although existing LUCAS cards will remain valid for access to TfL infrastructure until they expire.
Sentinel, in its current form, was introduced by Network Rail in June 2013 to improve workforce safety. It is credited with contributing to an 11% reduction in site injuries. The system uses the smartcard and database technology to manage and maintain individual workers’ competence, medical records and authority to work.
There are currently 96,000 active Sentinel cardholders and this collaboration with TfL extends access to more than 33,000 additional rail workers.
The Sentinel service operates through a mobile application available on smart phones. A built-in QR code scanner records the data of registered users from their cards at the point of entering a worksite.
Network Rail head of professional development & training Guy Wilmshurst-Smith said: “TfL’s use of Sentinel represents a significant milestone; not only will the two largest operators of the rail infrastructure be able to use the same system but Sentinel will also provide the opportunity to share data on double-shifting, fatigue management and competence restrictions.”
TfL programme director George McInulty added: “We often use the same suppliers as Network Rail so it is sensible and safer to have the same processes and standards wherever we can, so they don’t have to switch between the two. Joining Network Rail in the use of the Sentinel ID card is a fantastic example of where we can come together to make our industry a safer and more joined up place to be.”