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Close Call system

​The Close Call System was launched in June 2011 to enable the rail industry to record and manage conditions and behaviours that, under different circumstances, could have led to injury or harm.  This information is used to mitigate risk and understand broader safety issues.  Initially used by Network Rail and its principal contractors there is now a wider impetus to use the system to drive improvements in safety culture and safety performance throughout the rail industry.

Why report and analyse close call events?

​Studies have shown that for every major accident or fatality there are many hundreds of events of a far less serious nature. In different circumstances, these ‘Close Calls’ could have ended up being more serious accidents.

An example could be a hole in the path for the walking route between sites.  No one has slipped or tripped, so there is no injury to report into SMIS, but by reporting the issue as a ‘close call’, there is an opportunity to resolve the problem before any incident occurs.

Likewise, other close calls could be an unfastened seat belt, hazardous materials incorrectly stored, a badly insulated power tool or any other potential incident. By spotting and reporting Close Calls early, injuries can be prevented.

What is SMIS+?

We are transforming safety reporting services to the rail industry. In March 2017 we launched the new Safety Management Intelligence System (SMIS), replacing the old SMIS. Ultimately it is our ambition to get all the data from risks from SMIS and Close Call into one place – and so we’re now looking for a long term strategy for Close Call. In the short term, we are managing the delivery of some improvements to the existing Close Call System, specified by Network Rail.

SMIS+ is a substantial programme of work which will affect anyone who has a role or interest in their organisation’s safety management system including reporting safety incidents, close calls, and tracking investigations. 

For further information please contact the SMIS+ Programme team via email at SMIS+@rssb.co.uk.

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