Wednesday 16 February 2022

UIC launches Safety Climate Survey Task Force in collaboration with ERA

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In collaboration with ERA, UIC has launched a Task Force – Safety Climate Survey (TF-SCS) in accordance with the decision of the UIC Safety Platform Plenary taken during its November 2021 meeting.

The European Rail Safety Climate Survey (ERA-SCS) was designed by ERA in 2020 to better understand the safety perception of employees in the European rail system. The survey was launched in 2021, first with partner organisations, providing them with an insight into their own safety climate, and afterwards as an EU-wide open survey aimed at all railway professionals.

Over 80 European railway organisations took part in this survey as partners, providing insights and giving a global picture of the perception of safety at each level of the organisation.

A number of railway companies have since expressed further needs and expectations, as well as challenges they have faced, notably during the UIC HOF WG meeting on 9 September. They questioned how to best process the ERA-SCS results accurately, how the results can be placed and analysed within the overall SMS processes, and how to revert to staff with the findings and concrete solutions. All of these elements resulted in cooperation between UIC and ERA to launch this new Safety Climate Survey Task Force, with the kick-off meeting held on 14 February.

This meeting was fruitful, with 25 participants from Renfe, SNCB, Infrabel, SNCF, ProRail, RZD, ÖBB, Irish Rail, Network Rail, CFL, RSSB, Euskotren, Trenitalia, CP, Väylä and Taiwan High Speed Rail.

In a nutshell, the aim of the SCS Task Force is to support the exchange of best practice as well as sharing of experience between TF members.

As outputs, the SCS Task Force intends to provide methods on:

  • how to revert to staff with the results of the questionnaire and propose specific recommendations.
  • how to best design and implement an action plan
  • how to make this item a dedicated area within the Rail HOF Digital Platform
  • how to improve the questionnaire and any matters relating to the ERA-SCS survey itself

The initial challenges expressed by the members during the kick-off meeting were as follows:

  • How can best practices be shared in the ERA-SCS follow-up?
  • How to communicate with senior management and staff?
    How to analyse and interpret the results?
  • How to proceed if already using another safety culture model or the results of another safety climate survey?
  • What other sources of information can be used to understand safety culture in an organisation?
  • What are the next steps after analysing and presenting the results?

The 25 participants are at different stages of the process regarding the European Rail Safety Climate Survey. Some did not take part in the survey; others chose a different survey; and others are in the process of analysing the results and trying to understand how to use the insights gained to improve their own safety culture. This allowed for a rich and constructive debate.

The task force will organise between six and nine meetings in 2022. The next meeting will be held at the end of March 2022.

If you would like to participate in the task force, please contact Virginie Papillault, Human & Organisational Factors and Safety Culture Manager at UIC:

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