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Leading Health and Safety on Britain's Railway

Britain's railway system is one of the safest and most intensively used rail networks in the world. Our good safety performance has been achieved by highly competent people, by close co-operation between teams and companies, the adoption of advanced health and safety management systems, and the effective application of technology.

This performance is commendable. We have accomplished it at the same time as record numbers of passengers and freight customers are using the rail system, and major investment programmes are being implemented.

However the rate of safety improvement has slowed over the past few years. We know there are increasing challenges ahead. Growth in passenger numbers and freight volumes are expected to continue, and there are increasing expectations to demonstrate value for money. At the same time, our awareness of the importance of managing the health and wellbeing of all rail colleagues is growing.

The rail health and safety strategy – Leading Health and Safety on Britain's railway - has been developed by leaders of the rail industry to provide a framework for the collaborative improvement of health and safety performance on the railway. This strategy is owned by the Rail Delivery Group.

Cross-industry groups and committees act as focus groups for our research, products and services and enable the industry to act on intelligence, and coordinate industry-wide activities to manage the 12 key risks identified in the strategy. This involves a new Collaboration Framework.

The System Safety Risk Group (SSRG) promotes industry collaboration on safety issues aligned to the risk areas in Leading Health and Safety on Britain's railway. The Health and Wellbeing Policy Group (HWPG) promotes industry collaboration on health and wellbeing issues. The diagram below shows these relationships. You can click on the image to open a PDF of the diagram which has hyperlinks to the Risk Groups we manage.

SSRG and HWPG in context diagram 

Duty holder endorsement and adoption is essential if the strategy is going to be successfully realised. 

Monitoring the strategy

The strategy needs input from cross-industry groups and committees, as both focus groups for our research, products and services but also the means for industry to act on intelligence, and coordinate industry-wide activities to manage the 12 key risks identified in the strategy. This will involve a new Collaboration Framework.

Leading health and wellbeing on Britain's railway image   

RSSB publishes a quarterly progress report, with advice and guidance from industry, to give an overview of industry progress in implementing the Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railway strategy. The report aims to:

  • Share information
  • Provoke discussion
  • Elicit feedback
  • Help monitor cross-industry activity
  • Improve the industry’s safety, health and wellbeing performance.

This monitoring approach is as has been set out at the System Safety Risk Group (SSRG), the Health and Wellbeing Policy Group (HWPG) and the Industry Health and Safety Meeting (IHSM). 

Previous progress reports are available below. Some of your questions about LHSBR are answered on our FAQ page.

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