Rail consultancy: Human Factors

Human factors covers a broad range of topics across health, safety, and performance. In the rail sector, it considers working environments from a human-centred point of view. Our human factors consultancy team advise on reducing operational risk and supporting safe and effective operations.

The areas covered by our human factors consultancy team are:

  • Human factors training
  • Integration of non-technical skills into competence management systems
  • Reviewing and enhancing competence management systems
  • Reviewing and enhancing fatigue risk management systems
  • Integration of human factors in design
  • Safety culture improvement
  • Human factors analysis such as error analysis or task analysis
  • Application of human factors to improve safety and performance
  • Integration of human factors in change management
  • Analysis of human factors data to support accident investigation.

Our expert team has experience in:

  • Competence management
  • Non-technical skills
  • Fatigue management
  • Human factors in design
  • Safety culture and change management
  • Human factors analysis
  • Collecting and analysing human factors data
  • Applying human factors to improve safety and performance
  • Train driver psychometric assessment


Through our consultancy services you can access the breadth and depth of the expertise our whole team provides. In terms of human factors, our expertise is built on over 20 years of experience, observing, interviewing, and working with and alongside people in rail. Our rail consultancy experts have learned about the challenges people face, and we have a wealth of experience gained from safety-critical industries beyond our own, including road, aviation, and oil and gas. 

Our human factors consultancy team use their expertise, tools, and techniques to optimise human performance and help the way people carry out operational tasks, improve performance, to reduce risk. Integrating human factors activities early in the lifecycle of a design or development project can reduce the need for re-design, reduce staff turnover, and increase productivity for the organisation.
We have developed and tested mitigations and solutions, so our human factors specialists are a resource for the rail industry, ready to help your company. Our human factors specialists offer a unique combination of depth and breadth and deliver learning courses to many rail operators. Wherever people are involved, our expertise can help.

"Humans are involved in all aspects of rail operations. Understanding the factors that affect human performance and designing systems, processes and procedures that optimise human performance is essential for safety and efficient operations."
Paul Leach
Paul Leach, Head of Human Factors, RSSB

Challenges in Human Factors

Human factors cover a broad range of topics across health, safety, and performance. In the rail sector, it considers working environments from a human-centred point of view to support safe and effective operations. 

A common challenge is helping organisations better understand what human factors are and their effect on performance. This is necessary to help organisations better identify individual, job, workplace or organisational issues that are affecting people. If not addressed, these issues can potentially lead to near-misses, incidents, and accidents. 

Understanding what human factors are, and how they affect performance, allows long-lasting improvements to be identified, developed, implemented, and embedded.

What we’ve done

  • Developing user-friendly Safe Systems of Work guidebooks
    RSSB Consultancy were approached by an infrastructure company who were concerned that their Safe Systems of Work documents had become too big to consume in one sitting. Using our human factors and safety experts, we conducted an independent review before creating an improved user-friendly document. Read More
  • Improving safety and performance

    Supported operator understand the underlying human factors causes for their top risk incidents. Set out short and long-term recommendations for the executive team to take forward.

  • Improving safety conversations

    Researched good practice and scientific literature around safety conversations. Creating materials and briefings to help the executive team have better safety conversations when on site.

  • Competence development

    Used RSSB’s Risk Based Training Needs Analysis tool to help an operator re-build their conductor competence management system.

  • Safe system design

    Completed task analysis and subsequent human factors workshop to inform design of an onboard train system.

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Krystina Pinches 2
Krystyna Pinches
Tel: 0203 142 5464