The railway has long recognised the duty of care it owes to all who enter its boundary, whether to take a short cut, to surf, to vandalise, or for a darker, more troubling purpose. It also recognises the impact on the safety, health, and wellbeing of staff who have to deal with fatalities, performance problems, and so on.
In the last three years, much has been achieved in this area. Relationships with partners like Samaritans have matured, the You vs Train campaign has continued to extend its reach, and training in managing suicidal contacts led to a general increase in staff interventions until a decrease became evident in 2019/20.
While acknowledging the good work achieved, the refreshed LHSBR highlights strategic challenges around public behaviour. It notes that suicide remains a societal problem which can’t be fully addressed by any one organisation. Therefore, the rail industry needs to better understand why people take their own lives on the network.
It is difficult to predict where trespass incidents are likely to occur as there’s no single, easily accessible source of data.
To move forward, we need a consistent approach, increased and easier access to funding to implement existing mitigation measures, greater investment in innovation and technology, and targeted public awareness campaigns.
What the rail industry is doing
We will continue to monitor trespass and suicide via the Trespass Risk Group and the National Suicide Prevention Group; here we monitor safety performance, sponsor research, identify any emerging cross-industry issues for trespass and suicide.
- RSSB has supported industry collaboration to construct a bowtie to illustrate the relationship between risk controls and the hazards they intend to prevent.
- The Trespass Improvement Programme has achieved a great deal. It has, for example:
- established an educational partnership with Learn Live, which has reached over 5 million children and young people to date
- established a partnership with the English Football League and delivered the You Vs Train safety messaging through engagement with over 27,000 young people, at high-risk locations
- produced a national industry trespass strategy for CP6, to align and coordinate industry activity
- contributed to significant reductions in overall trespass incidents (24%), youth trespass incidents (32%), and train delays (21%) across 51 high-risk locations nationally.
- Relationships with partners such as Samaritans have continued to mature.
- Over 24,000 rail staff have been trained on Samaritans Managing Suicidal Contacts courses over the last 10 years.
- The Small Talk Saves Lives campaign was awarded third place in Silence Media's Creative of the Year competition.
How to get involved
There are many opportunities for you to contribute to leading health and safety on Britain’s railways. You can contribute and get involved through visiting the following webpages:
- The industry has several approaches to address suicides on the network. More information can be found on the Rail Suicide Prevention website and on our Suicide Prevention webpages.
- For advice on rail related suicide issues contact the rail industry’s national suicide prevention team at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The industry trespass webpages shares good practice, case studies and resources aimed at preventing trespass. It hosts resources such as the ‘You vs Train’ Campaign.