Jay Heavisides

Jay is an Engagement Manager in the Business Development and Engagement department.

What does your role involve?

I regularly catch up with members to understand the challenges they face and identify opportunities for how RSSB or collaboration with industry could help. I engage with a wide range of senior roles from train operating companies, entities in charge of maintenance, infrastructure maintainers, and operators, and I cover various topics, including health, safety, sustainability, engineering, and, of course, rail operations. Sometimes I meet people or teams face to face on site, and sometimes we catch up on Teams—whatever is the most effective and efficient.

It could be that for the challenge the member is facing, RSSB or another member has already had similar thoughts and we’ve developed a research project, product, or service, etc., that can be adapted to suit the circumstance. And if not, I can help connect them with the relevant experts, industry group, active workstream, or consultancy services to help resolve or lift some of the burden. 

There is always a lot going on at RSSB, so I also like to highlight new or upcoming deliverables that I believe may also be of interest and provide signposts to relevant resources. To be able do this, I also engage internally daily to make sure I’m up to date with who is doing what.

What brought you to RSSB?

After working in safety risk consultancy for 8+ years, RSSB being one of my main customers, I decided to focus on the rail industry. It’s a friendly and rewarding place to work, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to be involved in research and improvements from inception through to implementation. 

I joined what is now RSSB’s Risk and Safety Intelligence team full time in 2009, working on risk modelling tools, developing guidance like measuring safety performance, and improving access to SMIS business intelligence, to name a few projects. I enjoy liaising with members and generally helping people to solve issues and overcome barriers, so when the opportunity came up to join the engagement team in 2022, I went for it.

How can you help RSSB members?

My background of working in System Safety and Health means I have great understanding of the products and services we offer in this field and how they interface with RSSB’s standards and research capability. 

My analytical and engineering background means I don’t shy away from technical or complex problems. I love learning and trying to understand problems and how things work. I firmly believe where there’s a will there’s a way, so I don’t like giving up or leaving questions unanswered. 

I’ve picked up a lot of industry knowledge from the various projects I’ve worked on during my career and met a lot of highly skilled experts/made friends along the way. Although I may not know the answer to every question myself, I probably know someone who does or how to find out!

Is there anything else you’d like members to know?

One of the first projects I worked on in the rail industry was the development of the All Level Crossing Risk Model. It’s still in use and going strong today. Although my focus is no longer level crossings, I still have a soft spot for keeping an eye on how the model is doing and promoting level crossing safety.