The number of people dying in level crossing accidents is at its lowest recorded level for nearly 20 years, according to the latest annual railway safety statistics released by RSSB today.
Only three pedestrians died in accidents at level crossings in the year between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016, and there have been no passenger or workforce fatalities in train accidents for a record ninth year in a row. These are two of the areas where the rail industry has retained a sustained focus on the risks, tackling them in an informed and coordinated way.
The latest data also shows 10 people died in accidents at stations, 6 at the platform edge, reinforcing the need for industry's ongoing programme to home in on passenger behaviour at the platform-train interface with a combination of practical tools and PR campaigns on stations.
There has also been a marked increase in the number of assaults between passengers. The overall risk of being the victim of assault is still extremely low, but the issues are not new for the railway, and industry does deploy a range of tactics to help prevent and manage incidents including conflict management training, and working closely with British Transport Police to ensure adequate reassurance and enforcement.
RSSB Director of System Safety, George Bearfield said: The Annual Safety Performance Report helps inform the evidence base for 'Leading Health and Safety on Britain's Railway – a strategy for working together', which highlights 12 key risk areas where industry can make a step change by working together more closely. Without good data, it's impossible to make informed decisions to improve safety and business performance."