Focus on people to improve train maintenance, says RSSB
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New guidance and assessments are set to help companies focus on their people, get to the bottom of errors, and improve safety culture in many train maintenance workshops, according to rail industry body, RSSB.

Companies already recognised as best-in-class at delivering on the most challenging and high risk aspects of rail vehicle overhaul will in future need to go one step further in assurance assessments, to take human factors and organisational culture into account.

Such companies already have to face a rigorous evaluation through the Railway Industry Supplier Approval Scheme (RISAS), to demonstrate to Network Rail and train operators that they ‘do what they say they do’ to manage risk in the supply chain.
However, an RSSB investigation had uncovered situations where a small number of axle-bearing failures could be traced back to RISAS-certified companies, with a recommendation to tighten up the scheme and ensure human factors were more formally assessed.

Aimed at both suppliers and assessors, the new guidance from RSSB is designed to help work through new requirements in the RISAS assessment, and ultimately reduce inefficiencies and costs coming from re-work and claims that follow from out-of-spec products.

RSSB’s Principal Assurance Engineer, John Barber, said: Train operators rely on the fact that the companies providing them with critical overhaul services have been assessed thoroughly and rigorously by a third party through the RISAS scheme. The new requirements and guidance will bring all-round improvement to the supply chain, and ultimately benefit passengers and freight customers.

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