Taking Safe Decisions - Worked Examples

These worked examples illustrate the practical application of the principles set out in Taking Safe Decisions. Based on real decisions taken in the industry, they have been combined, simplified and idealised to highlight key learning points.

All of the worked examples are structured according to the Taking Safe Decisions risk management framework, shown below.


Worked examples

  • The removal of fire extinguishers describes a change in risk control that no longer provides a safety benefit. It illustrates a relatively simple decision made largely on the basis of qualitative analysis and expert judgement
  • The provision of signal post telephones when adopting a Global System for Mobile Communications in the Railways (GSM-R) illustrates the complexities of decisions involving multiple organisations. It discusses the psychology of decision making, in particular the importance of framing the decision in the right way.
  • The formation of a close organisational alliance between an infrastructure manager and a railway undertaking shows how structured workshops can be used to evaluate risk and identify safety measures when making an organisational change.
  • The final drive failures example illustrates how risk assessment and safety monitoring can be combined to support the iterative design and implementation of safety measures. It also demonstrates how a company is going beyond its legal safety requirements to reduce its reputational risk.
  • The Class 156 train fire and equipment modification example describes how a train operating company discovered a problem with potential for fire incidents on its Class 156 fleet. This led to an investigation and consideration of options for change to address the safety concern.
  • The dynamic decision response: recovering from a major incident example describes the live decision-making processes involved in operating a station in degraded mode following a major incident


We would be grateful for your feedback. If you would like to provide comments or have suggestions for further worked examples please email

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