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Railhub Archive
2000-06-13 RSA-001
Railway Safety


Discussion paper published on safety risk decision-making

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Railway Safety

Discussion paper published on safety risk decision-making

13 June 2000
source Railway Safety
type Press release

Running a successful business is about making the right decisions at the right time. Yet decision-making can involve different people at different levels and has an inherent element of either commercial, project or safety risk.

With railway safety decisions currently under the public microscope in the wake of Ladbroke Grove, the framework for safety decision making is equally under review. The issue is now the subject of a discussion paper - Safety Risk Decision Making - which has been sent to the rail industry by Railtrack Safety & Standards Directorate (S&SD) to spur debate.

Rod Muttram, Director Safety & Standards Directorate, said: "We wish to contribute to the discussion and ensure it moves forward in a mature and sensible direction. The public, media and government reaction to Ladbroke Grove has underlined the need to review how standards for safety risk control are set and how safety decisions are taken. Do traditional tools and methods to support decision making ensure that safety decisions meet public expectations?

"These factors have led us to think hard about an appropriate general framework for taking decisions that affect railway safety."

The framework was developed last November when more than 80 people from 60 railway industry companies took part in a series of S&SD workshops to review the HSE discussion document Reducing Risks, Protecting People, May 1999. The workshops looked at how safety risk decisions were and should be taken.

This output has been fed into the Safety Risk Decision Making discussion paper which presents a high level framework for taking safety risk decisions on the railways that is relevant to the railway industry and aligned with general developments in risk decision thinking.

The framework encompasses the range of decisions taken on the railway at all levels. It spans day-to-day or operational decisions, where the safety risks are well understood; tactical decisions which typically involve some kind of change with safety risks less well understood and strategic decisions which usually involve major capital investment, affect many players, have long term implications and invoke passionate debate across the industry.

For each type of decision, the framework offers guidance on the tools and approaches used to inform the decision, and who should be involved in the decision-making process.

The rail industry has until 14 July to respond.


Contact Alison Flynn on 0207 557 8107 for further information.


Editors Notes

Additional notes
S&SD Discussion Papers are issued to introduce ideas and stimulate debate on matters of railway safety and control of risks. There is no presumption that policy decisions have been taken or that the discussion paper represents S&SD's preferred position. Views are welcome and the overall response from the industry and others will influence any subsequent work. Normally S&SD will issue a green paper for further discussion and then a white paper to summarise the views on consultation and any next steps.

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-06-13 RSA-001


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