The UIC Safety Platform Steering Group met at UIC headquarters in Paris on 27 March in order to discuss the latest developments pertaining to railway safety and to present safety innovations within the participants’ respective companies. Mr Rolf Härdi, CTO of Deutsche Bahn AG, chaired the meeting for the first time. The day began with a special workshop on innovation and featured presentations on new approaches and projects underway within the railways. These include applications for passenger assistance, maintenance automation, use of digital technologies in train operations, “smart” tools for railway employees to help prevent accents and laser radar obstacle detection, amongst others.
Ms Parinaz Bazeghi of UIC gave a presentation on the DIGIM (digital impact on business process) programme consisting of three projects, two of which are related to safety at level crossings and safety of visually-impaired passengers inside railway stations. To find out more, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt5c21gBUA4&t=2s
After the workshop, a number of members provided information on recent safety events on their networks. This was followed by a video on “Women in Safety”, produced by SNCF and presented by Ms Lauren Kahn, Manager of the SMS department at SNCF. The video has been translated into English by UIC and will shortly be available in French and English on the UIC railway talent platform: http://staging.railtalent.web-003.appsaloon.prvw.eu/pathways/ and UIC media library http://mediacenter.uic.org (“Safety” playlist). It is already available at https://youtu.be/UfC-6yN3Kss
“SNCF au féminin” (“Women at SNCF”) project
The next item on the agenda was the “SNCF au féminin” network for gender diversity, founded in 2012 by a group of women at SNCF with the support of the company’s top management. 20% of SNCF’s employees are women. In the rolling stock and network maintenance sectors, women represent less than 10% of SNCF employees. The “Women in Safety” video was produced by the network to showcase the various jobs in the safety domain - traditionally regarded as a “male” sector - that are occupied by women. A further objective of the video is to attract new talent, particularly women.
Social media: #sncfaufeminin ; www.sncfaufeminin.fr
Network Rail is currently running a programme to increase the proportion of female employees by up to 20% by 2020. UIC has asked its members to seek out information on similar initiatives being run within their respective organisations on to provide an update at the next steering group meeting.
The meeting also featured a presentation by Isabelle Fonverne, UIC Senior Safety Advisor and Lauren Benoît, who is in charge of audiovisual projects at UIC, on a playlist dedicated to safety in the UIC media library http://mediacenter.uic.org. The aim of the initiative is to promote and share UIC and members’ videos relating to safety issues. The media library offers access to videos on a range of subjects such as employee and subcontractor safety at work, customer safety, safety at level crossings and on platforms, the risk of electrification, trespassing, etc. Ms Fonverne and Ms Benoît also presented the concept for the inaugural “Railway Safety Film Festival” to be held on 6 November 2019 at UIC HQ on the occasion of the UIC Safety Platform plenary meeting.
The afternoon sessions comprised a presentation from Simon Fletcher and Célia Lévy of UIC on the latest developments regarding the International Railway Solutions (IRSs), and an overview of the activities of the Safety Platform’s various advisory groups and taskforces. This was followed by another presentation by Isabelle Fonverne of UIC, this time providing information on the planned activities for the 2019 International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) campaign, which will include new posters and a video targeting professional drivers to be shared with all partners. Finally, Sophie Sérodon, also of UIC, gave a presentation on a project examining the interaction between wheels and composite brake blocks.
The next Safety Platform meeting will be hosted by DB AG in Berlin on 26 June.