HomeIndustry NewsRSSB annual report 2021-22

RSSB annual report 2021-22

Colin Wheeler

The Railway Safety and Standards Board’s (RSSB) annual report was issued in early July by Ali Chegini who is the RSSB’s director for systems safety and health.

Savings of £15.7 million
The report claims that over the last five years the industry’s performance in health and safety through operational learning and risk reductions (backed by their standard setting) has saved the industry some £15.7 million. The report includes five new/revised standards on topics including platform tactile surfaces, electrical risk management, multi-mode rolling stock, freight train operation, and the handling and carriage of dangerous goods. Its headlines include references to two workforce fatalities, six passenger or public fatalities in stations, 23 public fatalities at other locations, and 261 suicides or suspected suicides, as well as a surprising 160% increase in passenger journeys.

The report illustrates how well the UK compares with other countries and provides statistics on health and safety performance, operational learning, and risk reduction. It concludes that “Britain’s railways remain safe”.

Covid pandemic effects
The report says that the year started quietly but that, latterly, public attitudes have changed, particularly at level crossings and the train/platform interface. It suggests that more people are taking chances at crossings and on stations, and this has coincided with the dog ownership increase and with many more people taking country walks.
Key areas it highlights are asset integrity, workforce trackside safety, the prevention of freight train derailment, signals passed at danger (SPADs) and health and wellbeing. These are identified as areas where new insights and resources have become available from RSSB.

The Board continues to provide monthly updated reports on SPADs, and safety performance and risk using the fatalities and weighted injuries (FWI) statistics as a measure.

Eleven focussed, listed reports are available online covering the following priority risk areas:

  • Workforce health and wellbeing
  • Public behaviour
  • Station operation
  • Occupational road risk management
  • Level crossings
  • Fatigue risk management
  • Workforce safety
  • Asset integrity (both infrastructure and rolling stock)
  • Work related violence and assaults
  • Train operations
  • Freight

There is reference to the quarterly progress reports issued by the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board (LRSSB) and use of the precursor indicator model that provides a weighted measure of failures that can result in accidents. Detailed data on SPAD’s and how to use FWI details as a measure of injuries is also included.

The full report can be viewed here.