The control of risk is something of vital importance to the rail sector. Third party risk (brought about by issues not within the control of the rail sector) is one of the biggest contributors to the overall level of safety on the rail network. Only a minority of rail accident fatalities are actually passengers travelling in trains. Data analysis suggests that injury to a 3rd party is 4 times more likely than to a passenger travelling in a train. Overall, the major area of risk to the industry comes from this quarter and is largely as a result of incidents on level crossings and trespass.
The Safety Platform, acting as an advisory body for UIC activities in the field of safety and therefore working closely with the UIC, has as its core objective to put in place recommendations and actions to help control, mitigate or eradicate these risks and eliminate their underlying causes and effects.
The Safety Platform brings together safety directors (or employees with a comparable remit in line with the job titles used and corporate structure) from member companies of the UIC. Amongst these is a mixture of Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings as well as a number of organisations such as ATOC in the UK, representing groups of railway companies. This plenary structure is then supported by a core group made up of UIC member companies based in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Considerable additional independance is provided by having representatives from organisations such as the CER CER Community of the European Railways , EIM EIM European Rail Infrastructure Managers and RSSB RSSB Railway Safety Standards and Boards .
The purpose of the Safety Platform is:
- to help identify any type of measure or activity (related to system safety within the rail sector) likely to enable safety standards to be maintained or enhanced and, in parallel, boost the volume of international rail traffic (operating systems, organisational structures and remits of companies and bodies, legal and regulatory texts, methods, etc.).
- Promote overall coherence of system safety of the railway sector by cooperating with UIC Forum and other Platforms whilst not interfering with their projects. In particular be available to these Forum Platforms and their Study Groups and provide, upon request, advice on the potential impact of their project proposals on overall levels of system safety.