Friday 24 September 2021

Insights into safety barriers and safety risk models

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The UIC Taskforce on Safety Barriers met for the third time on 22 September.

The meeting served as an opportunity to gain insights into the definition and use of safety barriers as a risk-based management tool at ProRail as presented by Julia Burggraaf, Data & Human Factors.

Ben Gilmartin, Lead System Safety Engineer at RSSB, also provided insights not only into the design and use of bow-ties, but also other topics such as safety risk models, barrier definition, etc.

Finally, a review of the academic literature from Hollnagel and Sklet relating to safety barriers was proposed for discussion by Miguel Figueres Esteban, the leader of the taskforce.

The expected deliverable from the taskforce will be a definition of the basic principles for a common understanding and consistency in relation to the three cornerstones of safety barriers, i.e., taxonomy, ontology and tool, bearing in mind that many projects relating to safety management digitalisation are currently in progress, especially in respect of the EU regulatory framework.

The next meeting will focus on practical examples of safety barriers from a number of countries outside the EU.

This task force is open to all UIC members. To join us, please contact Frédéric Hénon, Head of Operations and Safety at UIC at

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