Friday 15 October 2021

International Railway Safety Council 2021

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This year’s International Railway Safety Council (IRSC) was held in South Korea from 12 to 14 October and was attended by 400 people, from 78 organisations, and 20 countries. The IRSC provides a forum for in-depth exchange of experiences to improve rail and performance, making a significant contribution to the ongoing improvement of rail safety management all around the world.

Official ceremony

Speaking at the IRSC official ceremony, UIC Director General François Davenne recalled that UIC had committed to continuous and effective involvement in international cooperation activities.

Thus, the more UIC infrastructure managers and members provide safety-relevant information, the more comprehensive and effective the quality of the analysis. UIC offers the most value to its members when information is shared and processed in collaboration, based on the principles of competence, trust and confidentiality. This allows each stakeholder to take ownership and responsibility for their actions and for safety and is why UIC is committed to supporting its members as a “worldwide data organisation for safety”. This is the focus of one of the UIC Safety Unit’s main development projects. There is only one goal: an entirely safe rail system that contributes to the sustainable development of our planet. Through its core activities, especially via the Operations & Safety Department, UIC will support, encourage, and facilitate all actions that contribute to this goal.

Keynote speeches

Hee-up Kang, Director of the Railway Bureau at the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), shared details of Korea’s safety policy at the IRSC. The policy provides for the use of a smart safety management system to determine key policy directions. Mr Kang stressed that the railway community has to build a preventive safety management system and increase railway workers’ expertise.

Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director at ERA, noted that the IRSC was an important forum for sharing experiences and presented the main pillars for improving rail safety in Europe. He reminded the audience that 2021 is the European Year of Rail as a sustainable transport mode.

Session 1: Railway safety and convergence of new technology – 12 October

Frédéric Hénon, Head of Operations and Safety at UIC, gave a presentation on the re-engineering of railway safety via digitalisation of safety management. This initiative is a global effort that paves the way for “safety as a service” (SaaS). Mr Hénon proposed launching a database of bowties to work on the identification and management of railway risks in depth.

Session 4: Safety enhancement of workers - 13 October

Virginie Papillault, Human & Organisational Factors and Safety Culture Manager at UIC, gave a presentation together with Jayne Yeo, Project Officer at ERA’s Safety and Operations Unit. They explained that UIC and ERA had decided to cooperate to promote human and organisational factors and safety culture in the railway community. They presented a new tool, “RAIL HOF”. This global railway community-based platform aims to promote the integration of human and organisational factors and connect railway HOF specialists and non-specialists. It also provides a forum for learning and exchanging knowledge, experience and best practice.

For further information, please contact Frédéric Hénon, Head of Operations and Safety at UIC at henon@uic.org or Virginie Papillault, Human & Organisational Factors and Safety Culture Manager at UIC: papillault@uic.org

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With Hyeong-ouk Noh (Minister of MOLIT), Seok-youn Han (President of the Korea Railroad Research Institute), Heon-seung Lee (Chairman of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee at the National Assembly)
François Davenne, UIC Director General
Hee-up Kang (Director of the Railway Bureau at the MOLIT)
Josef Doppelbauer (Executive Director of ERA)
Frédéric Hénon, Head of Operations and Safety – UIC
Virginie Papillault – Manager of the Human & Organisational Factors and Safety Culture - UIC
Jayne Yeo, Project Officer at Safety Operations Unit of ERA