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Accident investigation and learning

​​​​​​​​​​​​​One of the main contributors to railway safety is the learning that flows from near misses and accidents. The generic name for this is Learning from Operational Experience, or LOE.

In support of Learning from Operation Experience, RSSB provides many outputs to the industry, including periodic safety overviews, RSSB Strategic Board papers on specific risk areas, and an annual summary.

We also facilitate the RED DVD series and Right Track magazine (available on the
OpsWeb website
 External link), while providing analysis and support to the national stakeholder groups.

The main investigation of any safety event is conducted by the party immediately responsible for it. Each railway company will have its own arrangements for doing this, as defined in Railway Group Standards. To help the industry, we offer guidance on investigating and hosts workshops on human factors awareness.

Between 2002 and 2006, more serious accidents (involving loss of life or potentially significant consequences) were investigated by RSSB was set up.

All these reports – whether RSSB, RAIB or company-led – hold much valuable information about event causes, but once the recommendations therein have been acted on, there's a danger that some of their learning points may be lost.

Recognising this, RSSB has developed a way to analyse accident reports through an Incident Factor Classification System.

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