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Risk analysis

​​​​​​​​​​​The rail industry's learning process began in its earliest days, the first Railway Regulation Act establishing both a Railway Inspectorate and a requirement to report all injurious accidents to the Board of Trade.  That was in 1840. Within 50 years, block signalling, interlocking and continuous braking on passenger trains had been made mandatory; the next century would see many more improvements, ranging from continuous welded rail to automatic train protection systems – new technologies which often came out of investigations.

How we support industry

The cycle of performance reporting has become essential to ensuring that this development continues. But while statistics show the railway has got steadily safer over time, we know that good performance can breed complacency. It also makes it harder to spot trends and identify emerging issues, as there are fewer events to plot on charts.

To combat both these problems, RSSB tracks accident precursors – like signals passed at danger – and analyses risk (risk being a combination of the number of times something happens and its likely consequences).

Together, RSSB's consideration of safety performance and risk helps the rail industry make informed judgements and take safe decisions.

​RSSB has produced a number of accident investigation resources. We provide analysis of safety data that is collected through a range of reporting systems, as well as ​learning from accident investigations.

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