Work-related road driving across the rail industry covers the entire mainland of the UK. From work vans moving track maintenance gangs, construction materials and work crews, to taxis moving train crew across the system, and replacement buses moving passengers during closures. The highway is a lifeline for the railway.

During a 10-year period (2009-2019), 50% of all workforce fatalities were on the road.

What the rail industry is doing

Our focus is on reducing work-related road fatalities and serious injuries to the workforce, passengers and the public. To do this we are introducing the rail industry Occupational Road Risk Charter (ORRC). This has been developed by the Road Risk Group's (RRG) working group, in collaboration with RSSB and Highways England.

The introduction of the ORRC will commit rail companies and the supply chain to the Driving for Better Business (DfBB) programme. The DfBB programme is a government sponsored programme, designed to help all UK businesses, including rail companies and their supply chains, to better manage occupational road risk.

RSSB knows that RISQS (Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme) is developing a road safety module that will be offered to Buyer and Supplier Members to demonstrate how they have achieved compliance in support of the ORRC.

The ORRC statements have been designed as a framework that supports every rail company’s occupational road risk policy and, more broadly, the occupational road risk management strategic challenges set out in LHSBR.

Strategic challenges—what industry wants to do

We want to all rail companies to sign up to the Driving for Better Business (DfBB) programme. This will allow them to use the self-assessment DfBB gap analysis tool to review the effectiveness of their existing occupational road risk management policies and arrangements. It will also help better understand where they may need to make improvements, and then develop appropriate actions plans.

We will continue to promote awareness across industry for the need to report road traffic accident (RTA) events into SMIS. And we will promote the need to publish all RTA fatality and major (life-changing injury) incident investigation findings, to enhance learning opportunities.

We will continue to develop strong robust collaboration arrangements across each rail industry sector and provide forums for all rail companies and the supply chain to engage, participate, and share good practice.

The RRG will establish cross-industry working groups, bringing together knowledge and expertise from across the industry to focus attention on areas such as:

  • the use of common vehicle telematic performance data sets, to better inform emerging driver behaviour issues, particularly around journey management planning, and fatigue management
  • the introduction of rail industry requirements for the procurement of taxis services for moving rail employees and rail passengers, and replacement buses for rail passengers
  • developing a Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3) Evidence Matrix to measure occupational road risk management maturity, capability, and effectiveness.

How to get involved

There are many opportunities for you to contribute to leading health and safety on Britain’s railways.

Industry is particularly encouraged to work with, or join, these groups:

  • Road Risk Group: this brings together all sectors of the railway to monitor, share and update on industry-wide occupational road risk management initiatives and emerging issues.
  • Network Rail – Road Risk Safety Group: this brings together the network rail regional road fleet managers to improve work-related road safety management 
  • National Freight Safety Group—Road Risk Champions Group: this brings together all freight company road risk champions to improve work-related road safety management.
  • Rail Delivery Group Passenger Operations Safety Group (POSG): this aims to brings all TOCs together to improve safety across the industry. This includes occupational road risk management.
  • Infrastructure Safety Leadership Group (ISLG): a forum for principal contractors to come together to share and collaborate. Includes work-related road safety management.
  • Driving for Better Business (DfBB): provides a wide range of occupational road risk management tools and guidance support.
  • RoSPA: provides a wide range of tools and guidance to support the management of occupational road risk.
  • Association of Road Risk Management (ARRM): is the essential membership organisation for professionals and organisations involved in work-related road safety and the management of occupational road risk—collaborates with other organisations to promote innovation and share best practice.


RSSB offers Human Factors Awareness Training to help operators better understand why people make mistakes, exploring factors that can influence human performance such as fatigue, distraction and workload.

Watch our training video ‘RED 35 - Day Sleeper’ for operational safety information on this topic.