Spoken Safety Critical Communications

Excellent spoken safety critical communications (SSCC) are a crucial factor in helping deliver a safe operational railway. All rail staff who have to communicate verbally during their operational duties have a part to play. In a recent sample of GB rail incidents, safety critical communication (SCC) was identified as a contributory factor in nearly 17% of cases [1]. However, this figure rises to 90% depending on the operational context [2].

As part of RSSB’s five-year review of the Rail Industry Standard (RIS) on SSCC (RIS-8046-TOM), we have updated requirements and incorporated key points from the Communications Manual (research project T1078) which describes good practice in SCC on the railways. The changes to the RIS (September 2019) include revisions to SSCC monitoring that align them with the Communications Manual, as well as a new appendix that contains guiding principles for effective SSCC.

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