Tuesday 8 July 2014
Railway Safety

UIC Safety Platform Steering Group

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The UIC Safety Platform Steering Group meeting took place at the invitation of Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG) from 24 – 25 June in Frankfurt under the leadership of the Chairman Peter Kleinschuster (ÖBB). About 20 representatives from 12 railway companies and organisations, including RZD, EJR and CER, attended the meeting.

The first half day of the meeting was dedicated to a discussion on the strategic orientation of railway safety activities for the next few years and the future organisation and structure of the UIC Safety Platform.
Participants were asked to propose priority activities in the field of the railway system which should be studied in temporary multidisciplinary Task Forces. Potential topics could be “Signal Passed at Danger” (SPADs) and the implementation of the “Common Safety Method on Monitoring”.

As the safety issue is a transversal aspect of the railway system, representatives of the UIC Rail System Department and the Security Unit were invited to take part.
Teodor Gradinariu presented the organisation and activities of the Rail System Forum, José Pires reported on activities of the UIC Security Unit. The interfaces between safety and security as well as with the sectors of the Rail System Forum were discussed; the common involvement of experts on safety issues will be developed.

Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of the Fundamental Values Department, informed the meeting about UIC’s recent developments and its mission to promote the development of rail transport on a world level in order to meet the challenges of mobility and sustainable development. He focused on UIC priority activities and synergies between UIC and its partner organisations.

The second day started with an information exchange among the participants about accidents, incidents and significant developments in the field of railway safety.

The following part of the meeting was dedicated to the activities of the UIC Safety Platform working groups and the global activities of the UIC Safety Unit.

The Chairman of the “System Safety Management Group” (SSMG)/CER Safety Support Group, Jean-Francois Meunier, informed the meeting about the main current topics of this group, which is dealing in particular with ERA-related safety issues.

He focused on the following items:

  • Risk Acceptance Criteria for Technical systems (RAC-TS)
  • Joint Network Secretariat (ERA+NSAs+Sector) – Tasks and roles of actors on safety in the railway system
  • Single Safety Certificate
  • ERA Quick Response Procedure (QRP) after serious accidents or incidents

On behalf of the Chairman of the “Occupational Health and Safety Group” (OHSG), Colin Clifton (Southeastern Railway/ATOC), Meryem Belhaj informed the meeting about the activities of this group dealing in particular with safety aspects of subcontractors, statistics on safety at work and the management of noise risk in the work place.
A study on “Automatic Track Warning Systems” (ATWS) will be launched.

The Chairman of the “Human Factors” WG, Christian Neveu, informed the meeting about the developments of the study on “Safety Culture”, being at present the main activity of this group. The final report of the study on “Preparing staff for heavily-disrupted situations” will be published this year as well as a newsletter with the aim to bring more understanding of human factors to the public.

The chairman of the “Safety Performance Group”, Andreas Hahnl (ÖBB), presented the current status of the preparation of the UIC Safety Database Activity Report 2014. One part of the report will give a detailed cause analysis on Human Factors.

On behalf of the Chairman of the “International Railway Safety Network” (IRSN), Hans Vogt (SBB), Isabelle Fonverne reported on the main activities of this group.
IRSN has the goal to foster safety for railways by exchange of safety experience and backgrounds and learning from each other. Numerous surveys and questionnaires for comparing safety practices in different companies were launched.

Peter Gerhardt reported on the global activities of the Safety Unit, such as the creation of safety databases in the different UIC regions (Asian-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa) and the participation in seminars and workshops on a global level.

Isabelle Fonverne informed about Level Crossing Safety activities, also a very important issue as far as UIC worldwide activities are concerned:

  • 6th edition of the “International Level Crossing Awareness Day” (ILCAD) on 3 June 2014, coordinated by UIC: www.ilcad.org.
  • A press conference and round table with experts from road and rail was hosted by REFER Lisbon. In 2015 this event will take place on 3 June in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • The activity of the common road/rail UN-ECE Group of Experts to support the improvement of safety at level crossings, kick off meeting in January, last meeting from 12 – 13 May, next one from 23 – 24 October 2014 in Geneva.
  • The 13th “Global Level Crossing Safety and Trespass Prevention Symposium” from 3 – 8 August 2014 in Chicago, USA.
  • Conference website: http://ict.uiuc.edu/railroad/GLXS/overview.php

Participants were informed by Dirk Thater (DB AG) about the “International Railway Safety Council” (IRSC) to be held from 12 – 17 October 2014 in Berlin.
The main conference theme this year: “Enhancing Railway Safety through Innovation, Community Partnership and effective Safety Management”.
The website for registration is open:www.irsc2014.org

The next UIC Safety Platform Steering Group meeting is scheduled on
5 November 2014 in Paris; the plenary meeting will take place on 6 November and
is open to all UIC members.

For further information please contact Peter Gerhardt: gerhardt@uic.org

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