Safety controls are the systems and processes that mitigate the risks involved with your rail activity, and your safety case has to show that the ones you have in place meet the requirements for railway participants in Section 7 of the Railways Act 2005(external link).
Your approach for choosing the right safety controls should encourage exploring many options with a fair consideration of how they may or may not work, rather than simply opting for the most familiar option. Your safety case needs to describe your selection method and show that consideration was given to:
Note: Refer to Section 5 of the Railways Act 2005(external link) for the meaning of reasonably practicable.
Your safety case should also show that these decisions are being made by those who have the authority to make them happen. Some decisions can be made at lower levels, but the board should be considering things that require buy-in from across the organisation or significant budget.
There are some safety controls that are required by all rail operations, so you must have them as part of your safety system and demonstrate in your safety case that that you can operate them well. These controls are listed below.
When describing these controls in your safety case, focus less on how you carry them out and more on the type of risks they will address and how well they will address them. Doing it this way helps your front-line team understand the importance of the controls and how they directly contribute to safety.
For those of your team with safety critical roles you need to show how you can be certain they are not impaired in any way - particularly by fatigue, illegal drugs, prescription drugs or alcohol.
If your rail activity interacts with other rail participants, especially on-track, managing safety in this area is known as ‘interoperability’. Where this exists, your safety case should show that all parties agree on the system of controls and there are no gaps in practice, which includes showing:
If you operate on the National Rail System (NRS), you must demonstrate how participation in the committees and following the NRS standards will help you achieve your safety goals.
The condition of your rail assets is critical to maintaining safety. When they don’t operate as intended, it can result in a person getting seriously hurt. Your safety case should show how you’re aware of the condition of your assets and their operational needs.
Despite your best plans, things may go wrong at some point. Emergency management makes sure a bad situation doesn’t get worse. The three objectives of emergency management are to:
You should describe how you will develop and maintain emergency plans that are effective and are understood by the people who may need to use them.
Keeping your documentation (including practices and procedures) well managed and maintained is a big part of ensuring safety in the workplace. As well as staff knowing they can easily access it and are looking at the most up to date version of what they need to know, it also helps those in governance positions know they are meeting their legal obligations.
Your safety case should demonstrate that:
When something changes in your organisation it must be managed well, as unexpected risks may arise and people could be exposed to harm. A strong and integrated change management process is a must-have for any rail operation and your safety case should show:
Documents that may help you develop this section