When a signal has been passed at danger, it is easy to assume that the risk has been realised. However, driver managers are then faced with other risks and a decision that can have a huge impact on the safety and performance of both the operational railway and the driver themselves. The decision to take a driver off duty or let them continue their shift is complex and there is no straightforward, ‘right or wrong’ answer. Managers need to consider the information they have at the time, weigh up the risks of their different options and make the best possible decision.
RSSB have designed the ‘G-FORCE’ decision making tool and an accompanying training package to support operational decision making in situations just like this where there is no clear-cut rule to tell someone what to do. We developed the tool and training with input from front-line railway staff and managers faced with difficult operational decisions, and through exploring what is done in other safety-critical industries including aviation, emergency services and the military.