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Rail safety remains crucial says RSSB Annual Report

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Higher levels of passengers and freight going by train means an even greater motivation to maintain rail’s safe and green credentials, says rail body RSSB.

The independent rail safety body RSSB has published its latest Annual Health and Safety Report for Britain’s railways, covering the last financial year 2021-22.

While the Covid pandemic meant the year started quietly, by March 2022, passenger traffic increased 160% on the previous year.

Britain’s railways continue to demonstrate high levels of safety, performance and success, and have shown an ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, said RSSB, delivered thanks to high levels of professionalism and capability from boardroom to the front-line. However, emerging risks mean that industry needs to stay fully united and focussed on safety, to ensure Britain’s railways remain among the safest in the world. This is made even more important as more people rediscover train travel for commuting, business and leisure travel, the latter emerging as a distinct growth opportunity.

The pandemic saw changes in public attitudes to risk, particularly at level crossings and the platform-train interface according to RSSB. Greater number of people owning pet dogs, discovering country walks, combined with an interruption in regular public transport use, has seen more people taking chances at crossings and on stations. Among a range of incident learning and data trends, experts at RSSB have also pointed to asset integrity, workforce trackside safety and signals passed at danger (SPADs) as key areas in this year’s report.

Positive results are being achieved through industry’s collaborative efforts said RSSB. The ‘Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railway’ is the industry’s shared strategy that focuses on the key risks and challenges.  In the last year, new insights and resources on trackworker safety, freight train derailment prevention, and health and wellbeing have become available, and can now be applied by teams and operators across the network.

RSSB’s Director of System Safety and Health, Ali Chegini said: “Our Annual Health and Safety Report 2021-22 shows Britain’s railways remain safe, despite the challenges the rail industry faced during lockdown and recovery. 

“The rail industry now has a golden opportunity to modernise, adapt and improve its service for passenger and freight customers, while retaining focus on the safety and health of everyone involved.

“For our part at RSSB, we will continue to help the rail industry become healthier, more efficient and safer together. Our members and funders can always count on us for support in helping bring that to life, with innovative new tools, shared expertise, standards and data analysis.” 

For further information and to download the report visit: https://www.rssb.co.uk/safety-and-health/risk-and-safety-intelligence/annual-health-and-safety-report

Image credit: RSSB

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