Risk Management Forum

The Risk Management Forum (RMF) is an annual one-day conference which aims to encourage safety risk managers and practitioners to share, develop and steer good practice in risk management for Britain's railways.

We will not be holding a Risk Management Forum in 2019. However, we are planning to hold an event focused on Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railway in 2019, which will contain some similar content. Information about this event (and other RSSB events) will be available on the events webpage in due course.

Understanding Risk was the theme of the 2018 event, which was held on 7 June at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

Presenters from GB rail discussed different aspects of understanding risk and communicating it to the people who can influence or are exposed to it. One session was devoted to the tram accident at Sandilands Junction, the impact it had on those involved, the lessons learnt and the actions being taken. Other presenters provided perspectives from another country (SNCF) and another sector (British Airways).


A consolidated set of presentation slides is available from the day’s talks to RSSB members on the event’s SPARK page:

  • Learning from Clapham
  • Risk management – a personal journey
  • Life-saving rules
  • Laying the foundations for a high reliability organisation*
  • Why have a Safety Risk Model?
  • An overview of the tram accident at Sandilands Junction
  • London trams – response to the Sandilands accident*
  • British Airways: A risk management journey
  • SNCF: Implementing risk-based safety management at SNCF

* Slides not available for these presentations.

Questions and answers

The talks were followed by Q&A sessions. Some of the presenters have subsequently provided answers to questions that we ran out of time for on the day. The document, also available on the event’s SPARK page to RSSB members, will be updated as we receive more responses.

If you attended the event and would like the set of presentation slides or the question responses but are not an RSSB member, please contact us using the email address at the bottom of this page and we will send them to you.

Key messages

There were a lot of specific learning points in the presentations and Q&A sessions. Recurring themes through the day related to the importance of:

  • Safety culture and leadership.
  • Guarding against complacency: we can be proud of achievements in reducing risk but there is still a long way to go.
  • Learning and retaining lessons from our own industry, and from other railways and other sectors.
  • Monitoring safety proactively and not just reactively. 
  • Making sure we are really looking in all the right places and really seeing what’s there when we’re assessing and monitoring risk. We shouldn’t be surprised by “black swans” or hidden hazards.
  • Communicating effectively about risk to the people who influence or are exposed to it: focussing on what’s important and not over-complicating.
  • Effectively harnessing the models and tools available to help us understand and manage risk, including increasingly powerful enterprise health and safety management systems, and developing the capability of the people who use them.
  • Working together to understand and manage the safety of the railway system, following the approach set out in Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railway.

RMF 2018 workshop: Learning from Sandilands

RSSB collaborated with RAIB to run a half-day afternoon workshop in Manchester on 6 June.

Around 50 attendees from across the GB railway were able to build their understanding of the accident and the investigation into it, and get involved in identifying pertinent lessons for the national network.

Three sessions focused on the driver and train protection, risk management, and other issues. A summary digest is available to registered users on SPARK.

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