In order for your organisation to be able to achieve its safety commitments, it must have the right expertise, the right assets and the right people. Your safety case needs to demonstrate that you have these resources, while also making it clear that you’re managing the expertise, assets and people that can’t be lost without sacrificing safety.

Recognise what is safety critical  [s30(1)(g)]

A safety critical task is one that, if done incorrectly due to a mistake, absence or failure, is a serious risk to safety. Team members who perform safety critical tasks have a safety critical role, including:

  • locomotive engineers (ie if they collapse then control of the train could be lost)
  • maintenance workers (eg if they reassemble brakes incorrectly), and
  • managers (eg if they approve an unsuitable piece of equipment).

Your safety case needs to show that all of your safety critical tasks are being done properly. This means you need to provide confidence that your systems:

  • clearly identify safety critical tasks and who does them
  • ensure those staff have the skills they need and are not impaired, and
  • can adapt to changes (eg new staff) and identify when something becomes safety critical.

Training and competency  [s30(1)(g)]

To show that your team and contractors in safety critical roles have the necessary training and competencies, you need to demonstrate your systems are able to:

  • determine what skills are needed
  • track who has the skills and whether they need to be refreshed, and
  • assess whether the training is effective in providing those skills.

How you ensure the competency of contractors is of particular interest as their skills may not be known and your control over their actions may be less than that of your own team.

External parties covered by your licence  [s30(1)(l)], [s30(2)]

If your rail activity interacts with other rail participants, managing safety in this area is known as ‘interoperability’ (as mentioned in the ‘What will keep you safe’ section). When another organisation performs rail activities under your rail licence, your safety case needs to demonstrate that:

  • key people (such as the board, planners, training managers and team leaders) in your organisation are clear they are taking responsibility for the safety of those operating under your licence
  • those operating under your licence share similar safety culture, principles and goals as your organisation
  • your safety systems are able to keep all external parties safe as well as your team, and
  • all parties understand your safety systems and can comply with them.

If necessary your safety case may adopt, by reference and with any necessary modifications, one or more parts of another approved safety case.