To show you can manage your identified risks, you need to demonstrate that you’re able to monitor what is and isn’t working in your operation. This includes specifics, from whether tasks are being performed correctly to whether you’re meeting your safety policy, principles and goals.

Your monitoring approach

Your safety case must show that you have a comprehensive monitoring approach with the right people in the right roles to perform the monitoring tasks. You should be able to build a picture of what’s happening each day compared to what should be happening, including:

  • how assessment findings are tracked and resolved
  • how resulting actions are prioritised and taken, and
  • the checks in place to ensure a fix/change has worked and will stay working.

Accident and incident monitoring [s30(1)(h)]

All rail participants must notify us of any accident or incident as soon as practicable (depending on its severity), which includes near misses or breaks in safety protocol. Your safety case should outline your mechanism for notifying Waka Kotahi and show how your system makes it easy for anyone to notify you of a safety concern.

Investigations [s30(1)(h)]

Investigating occurrences allows you to understand the organisational reasons why something happened. You should show that you also investigate where you feel an incident could occur, so you’re able to fix problems before they hurt someone.

Internal assurance [s30(1)(h)]

Internal audits can range from a simple spot-check to a methodical review of the entire operation. Often a mix of both is best and you should show how you monitor that your team is in compliance with procedures, policies and rules, and that your safety equipment is in place and working.

You should also look at your management system with the aim of identifying the root cause of any failures. These are good at telling you why something isn’t being done, rather than just whether it is or not.

Additionally, quality assurance (QA) is about how you make sure your important equipment, practices and communications are fit for purpose before you use them. Outlining your QA processes could include examples of checking training programme attendance or a plan of operations for the day.

Waka Kotahi safety assessments [s30(1)(i)]

Waka Kotahi undertakes ordinary and special safety assessments on a risk-based schedule covering all licence holders. Your safety case should show that there is a variable timeframe for these assessments and Waka Kotahi will discuss this with you in advance.

Documents that may help you develop this section:

  • Your audit and assurance plan
  • Your QA method
  • The accident and incident categories you will monitor
  • Reporting procedure for problems, safety issues, accidents/incidents