Stay ahead of the curve on key safety issues

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Our quarterly Spotlight on Safety videos and reports highlight pressing safety issues, while recognising the many changes industry is experiencing. These short 5-minute videos, and accompanying brief reports, provide a focused snapshot to help keep rail safe for operators, staff, and passengers.

Staying on top of safety is essential in a safety-critical industry like rail. Not only are there a great many factors affecting rail’s safety, but they change over time. While our Annual Health and Safety Report gives a vital snapshot of annual progress, a more frequent snapshots of the key issues are essential.

Our ‘Spotlight on Safety’ series helps deliver this. The series is targeted at rail’s senior executives, to help them focus their safety efforts most effectively. In each 5-minute video, we discuss the latest issues that have been identified following analysis of industry-wide data.

The accompanying report provides additional support with links to further relevant resources. 

Looking back on past issues we’ve seen the value of these videos and reports. For instance, in December 2022 we highlighted the existence of multiple sources of uncertainty for rail, and the corresponding leadership challenge. In this context, readers were directed to RSSB’s human factors information which provided recommendations for managers and leaders on how to encourage rail industry change, as well as RSSB’s SPAD Management Guide for Directors. 

In April 2023 we asked the question ‘Who is responsible for maintaining corporate memory?’. Rail has learned, from bitter experience, that at times of change, previously hard-won lessons can be forgotten. There is also the ever-present risk that organisations can fail to gain the full benefit of its employees’ experience. The report includes a one-page checklist about six ways to preserve corporate memory, and how RSSB can help. Methods for preserving corporate memory include document and information management, succession planning, and digital transformation.

The safety implications of changes in passenger profiles and summer weather were the focus in August 2023. While commute travel decreased, leisure travel increased leading to reduced predictability of these types of passenger journeys. In addition, the increased heat now expected during summers also increases the risk of anti-social behaviour by passengers and harms to staff.

If you need a quick update about the most important safety issues, watch our Spotlight on Safety videos and use the resources highlighted in the accompanying short reports. 

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