SMIS - Its Value and Application

SMIS has been providing safety management intelligence for over 20 years.  Every part of the industry has an interest in safety; so SMIS affects everyone in the railway.
SMISverse diagram


All infrastructure managers and railway undertakings have a duty to input data into SMIS.  SMIS is valued as a single source of safety data, with over 215,000 records entered since the new system went live in 2017.  It is recognised as providing national insights, through system-wide safety monitoring and risk analysis.

There are rules in SMIS which automatically report RIDDOR events (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) to the regulator. This enables consistent and compliant reporting for the whole industry.

Where an incident prompts a question, or results in an investigation, SMIS will be used to see how many times similar events have occurred in the past.  RSSB uses this type of intelligence in its Learning from Operational Experience programme and in regular publications such as Right Track and the Rail Safety Review.

In addition, RSSB convenes, for the industry, a number of risk review groups. Together, these look at the whole railway risk profile.  These groups routinely review safety intelligence drawn from SMIS.  They set in motion further work which aims to steer the industry in the right direction for proportionate risk management.  It is only by having trusted safety intelligence that such an approach can be taken.

SMIS data is used to produce periodic, quarterly, and annual health and safety reports that are used to direct strategic safety activities.  Those activities are outlined in the industry's strategy document Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railway.

Many companies extract the data they have put into SMIS for their own safety performance reports. Some companies use separate systems, but to create the richest possible data, and the resultant safety information, we would like everyone to use SMIS.  We are providing support to every organisation that uses SMIS to make inputting data and creating reports as easy as possible.

Consistent reporting of data into SMIS also enables benchmarking to be done, so that organisations can compare themselves with other similar companies or the national average, to identify where there is greatest scope for improvement.

The Safety Risk Model is heavily dependent upon SMIS data, particularly for higher frequency events.  You can find out more about the Safety Risk Model and its associated products here. In particular, the Risk Profile Tool allows companies to produce their own risk profile. This can then be used for safety planning and to inform monitoring strategies.

Safety intelligence from SMIS is essential for decision making where there is an impact on safety.  RSSB uses SMIS data in its business cases for research, and also in its impact assessments for standards changes. Your organisation may also be making decisions around where to direct finite resources to improve safety and SMIS data can help you with this.

Consistent reporting of all required events into SMIS and the quality of the supporting information are essential to the integrity of SMIS, which is why data quality is so important.


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Jay Heavisides
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