On April 14th, at UIC Headquarters in Paris, the correspondents of the UIC Safety Database (SDB) met to discuss issues concerning the UIC SDB, as well as its future development. Representatives from European Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings, as well as East Japan Railways, attended to ask questions and make suggestions for the future evolution of the SDB. Correspondents also completed a questionnaire aimed at optimising the utility of the Database for their needs. The meeting, with simultaneous translation in three languages, was chaired by Safety Database Manager Samuel Russell.
The UIC Safety Database has been collecting accident data since 2001, and now has data from 21 European UIC members. It is part of the Safety Platform activity in the Fundamental Values Department. The goal of the database is to create an inventory of information containing not only accident statistics, but comprehensive detail about causes, descriptions, severity and particularities of accidents. Every significant accident, meaning those causing personal injury, major costs, or disruptions to railways, is catalogued with a wealth of information. These data include the type of line, location and rolling stock involved, the nature and cause of the accident with a verbal description, information about accident victims, and other categories of data which can be extracted and analysed in connection with various studies.
The Safety Database can be used by members to compare statistics and trends across Europe, and to identify particular risks or successes. The findings can lead to further avenues of inquiry with the ultimate goal being to reduce certain dangers or to learn from best practices of others. Every year an Activity Report is published with the accident statistics collected for the previous year. A confidential version is available to Database members, while a public version can be accessed on the internet at http://safetydb.uic.org/IMG/pdf/Full_Report_2010_Public.pdf