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ROGS and duty of cooperation

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Issue 2 (2009) of the Duty of Cooperation Guide - part 1 and part 2 - provides an update on Issue 1 which was published in October 2007. It contains guidance to transport operators on inter-company managerial cooperative arrangements to facilitate compliance with Regulation 22 of Railway and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 External link (ROGS). Please note that as Issue 2 of this guide was issued in 2009, some of the Regulation and RGS references are out of date.  It is currently being reviewed and will be replaced mid 2015.

The guide has been developed by RSSB's SMS Programme team, after wide industry consultation, to reflect the views of stakeholders and the many recent developments in systems and documentation for cooperation in safety management. It also contains an important new section on non-mainline operators with mainline interfaces, such as heritage and light railways.

Image of the front cover of the Duty of Cooperation part 1 document

The safe running of the system relies on transport operators sharing information and cooperating as necessary, with the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) taking an overview as to whether the system is being run safely. ORR's foreword to the guide states: 'Effective cooperation is essential to the safety of the railway system as a whole, and the process for identifying and controlling interface risks is described in some detail in this guide. ORR recommends that all Railway Group transport operators follow this guidance.'

This guide aims to provide British mainline transport operators with a summary of the inter-company cooperative arrangements required to comply with Regulation 22 (Cooperation) of ROGS. It also covers issues relating to safety critical work in Regulation 26.

The guide should assist both in the development and review of safety management systems.

Legal requirements and industry practice

The guide distinguishes between (a) the specific and clear Duty of Cooperation requirements of ROGS and (b) other issues of cooperation that are established industry good practice or are emerging as such, but are not a legal requirement. It is structured along the lines of
HSG 65 Successful Health and Safety Management External link and other commonly used management systems.

A large part of the safety risk on the railways arises at the interfaces between transport operators (for example, where different railway undertakings operate on the same part of the infrastructure). For this reason, it is essential that transport operators, and their contractors, work together to make sure the railway system is as safe as is reasonably practicable.

The regulations introduce a specific duty of co-operation between transport operators whose activities affect one another. The duty is designed to make sure that each transport operator can comply with the provisions of ROGS. ​​​

Commitment to cooperation

Transport operators should either demonstrate a commitment to cooperation via adoption of this guide or state in their SMS the alternative methods used to meet the duty of cooperation.

The many areas of cooperation are summarised in Part 1 of the guide. These are cross-referenced to Part 2, where they are described in more detail.

Updates to information

Issue 2 (2009) of this guide includes a new Section C which, along with the content of the whole document, should give some guidance to non-mainline operators with mainline interfaces such as shared platforms.

The current Modernisation of Safety Cooperation project and other industry developments require that this guidance be updated and this is planned for early 2014.

Please note that as Issue 2 of this guide was issued in 2009, some of the Regulation and RGS references are out of date.  It is currently being reviewed and will be replaced mid 2015.

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