Platform Safety and Train Dispatch Risk Assessment

The Platform Safety and Train Dispatch Risk Assessment (PSTDRA) can be used to determine the most suitable method(s) of train dispatch and a range of platform safety measures. These can be implemented to keep passengers safe when boarding and alighting trains and when waiting on the platform.

The PSTDRA covers four areas of risk that relate specifically to the Platform Train Interface (PTI):

  1. Trains arriving the platform
  2. Trains stopped at the platform and passengers are boarding and alighting
  3. Trains being dispatched and departing the platform
  4. At all other times when passengers are on the platform

There are numerous reasons why the assessment covers these four areas. First, passengers are exposed to different types of harm when a train is in the platform compared to when there is no train stopped at the platform.  When a train is in the platform the most common type of incident are slips, trips and falls, these are categorised as high likelihood but low severity events. When there is no train stopped in the platform or when trains are passing through the platform events with low likelihood, high severity are more common, such as being struck by a train.

Second, the assessment covers these four areas because when added together low severity, high likelihood events and low likelihood, high severity events roughly equal the same level of harm to passengers. This means that a train in the platform presents the same level of risk compared to when there is no train stopped in the platform.

The final reason these four areas are covered by the assessment is to focus attention equally on train dispatch and platform safety measures. At best, train dispatch can only help to control passenger risk when there is a train in the platform (approximately half the PTI risk). Platform safety measures are needed to help control risk when there is no train present and support the safe dispatch of trains.

When is an assessment required?

A PSTDRA is required for each platform because the likelihood and severity of hazardous events can vary from platform to platform. The risk assessment helps determine factors that affect the likelihood and potential severity of these events and specific risk controls than can be implemented for each platform. PSTDRA will also help to determine risks that are generic across platforms, stations and routes and the types of controls that can be implemented across these. 

Completing the risk assessment 

There are seven steps to complete a PSTDRA:

Requirements and guidance for this assessment are provided in the Rail Industry Standard Passenger Train Dispatch and Platform Safety Measures (RIS-3703-TOM). RSSB has also developed an electronic risk assessment tool which you can use to compete PSTDRA.

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