Tuesday 7 March 2017

Safety Workshop on Organisational and Human Factors held on 22 February 2017 in Paris

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On 22 February 2017, the UIC Safety Unit organised a workshop at Paris UIC HQ in order to disseminate and discuss the results of the three multidisciplinary Task Forces established by the UIC Safety platform. All UIC members and guests were invited to attend this event.

On this occasion Mr Peter Gerhardt, Head of the UIC Safety Unit and Mr Jerzy Wisniewski, Fundamental Values Director, welcomed the 70 participants from 30 UIC members, partners and representatives from NSAs (National Security Agencies), the Agency and third parties.

Safety culture and safety management system:

Christian Neveu (Chairman of the Taskforce) and Bernard Penners (Infrabel) presented a detailed description of a model of strong safety culture comprising nine points, ranging from staff commitment and involvement in issues of safety to change management. They also demonstrated that:

  • There are close links between the SMS and safety culture, and the SMS can be a highly effective way of improving the culture
  • Measuring safety culture is not just about measuring accident rates
  • Measuring safety levels is not the same as measuring safety culture
  • Measuring safety culture requires looking at the core of the system to understand how it is working

The round table moderated by Meryem Belhaj from UIC was a good opportunity for the participants to discuss safety culture and to put their questions to the speakers and invited experts such as Frédéric Delorme (Chairman of the Safety Platform, SNCF), Susan Reinartz (ERA), Hans Vogt (CFF).

Improving health and safety when working with contractors

Maria Hedqvist (Chairwoman of OHSG) presented the guidance which will assist in improving the health and safety practice of leaders, managers, and health and safety practitioners working in procurement, project management, and supply chain management. She concluded that:

  • Achieving excellent health and safety performance is a challenge for the rail industry. This can be achieved by:
    • Improving how we select the contractors that we work with
    • Preparing contracts with clear and robust requirements for health and safety, including considering how to incentivise good performance and manage poor performance
    • Ensuring we only engage with those contractors who can deliver our requirements and work with them to ensure they are fully aware of the railway environment, the health and safety risks and requirements
    • Supervising, monitoring and measuring the health and safety performance of contractors
  • The right leadership and culture is imperative to improving health and safety performance
  • Improving how we engage with contractors will help us to prepare for success in health and safety performance

Other members of the taskforce delivered presentations: Kay Doyle from Irish Rail on contract preparation and contract award. Inge Laureweys from Infrabel gave examples of good practice on familiarisation such as the use of shared systems to provide and share information. Sharna Murraly from Network Rail presented the Sentinel card which determines whether an individual has the Authority to Work on the railway infrastructure. Colin Clifton (Govia, UK) highlighted how we capture near misses and incidents when working with contractors.

Signals Passed At Danger “SPADs”

Christian Neveu (SNCF, chairman of the taskforce) reiterated that the main objective was to share member experience on SPADS and inform one another of the action taken, its outcomes and the problems that arise.

Four specific topics were presented:

  • Processes of SPAD investigation: common aspects and best practices by Huw Gibson from RSSB
  • Role of the railway undertaking by Olivier Kayser & Guy Lux from CFL
  • Learning of experience, taking the positives by Christian Neveu from SNCF
  • Role of the infrastructure managers by Mike Carr from RSSB & Ole Kroczek from DB AG

The chairman of the Safety Platform, Frédéric Delorme, concluded the workshop by highlighting the importance of organisational and human factors in the management of safety.

For further information please contact Meryem Belhaj, Senior Advisor International Training & Human Factors:


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