Boosting confidence and alertness

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Empowering rail staff to make better decisions and combat fatigue with the science of human behaviour.


As a psychologist, part of my job is to help people work more effectively and safely. I do this by helping organisations understand how people’s behaviour and interactions are influenced by their environment.

This is part of what we call ‘human factors’, a scientific discipline that looks at working environments from a human-centred point of view. The focus is on how the entire system influences the way people work.

The rail industry has been harnessing the power of human factors for many years now. This has led to a better understanding of the challenges the workforce faces every day. For instance, it’s helped reduce the risk of signals passed at danger (SPADs) and informed better rules and approaches to safety-critical tasks.    

The Covid-19 pandemic adds extra complexity to this complex dynamic. In particular, it presents new constraints to the way we do our jobs. Changes and complexities can cause anxiety and uncertainty and create new challenges which are not catered for in conventional rules and procedures.

This is where I’ve been helping. I’ve been supporting new guidance for train companies so that the workforce can feel confident about making real-time decisions about safety. Our decision-making tool G-FORCE is proving really useful for this.

My colleagues have also been supporting our members with guidance on dealing with the risk from fatigue. This includes fresh guidance that is specific to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also a reminder of RSSB’s existing fatigue resources.

I—along with my fellow experts here at RSSB—are ready to help you. Please do get in touch.

Further information

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Senior Human Factors Specialist for further information.
Charlotte Kaul
Tel: 020 3142 5406
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