The UIC Safety Platform Plenary meeting was held online on 11 March. Opening the meeting, Frédéric Hénon, UIC Head of Operations and Safety, welcomed the participants on behalf of UIC and thanked Rolf Härdi of DB AG for his excellent work as Chair of the Platform from 2019 to 2020. Mr Hénon presented Mr Härdi with a symbolic gift, continuing a tradition put in place by Mr Härdi during his mandate to thank departing Working Group Chairs for their efforts and dedication to the UIC Safety Platform.
Mr Härdi said: “It is very emotional to be here, and I appreciate very much receiving such a present. I thank the UIC Safety Team very much for our excellent collaboration, colleagues from other railway companies for the rich exchange of experiences we have had over these past two years, and of course my assistant, Claudia Hiebel, for having helped me in this task. I am happy and proud to pass the baton to Ali Chegini of RSSB”.
Together with the members, Mr Hénon welcomed Ali Chegini, Director of System Safety and Health at RSSB, who was appointed to the role of Safety Platform Chair in December 2020.
Mr Chegini said: “I am delighted and honoured to assume the responsibilities of the UIC Safety Platform Chair during 2021-2023. Our members and colleagues have had a very challenging year. I look forward to working collaboratively with my UIC and other colleagues to ensure that our railways resume their operations with some semblance of normality safely. My aim is to build on the excellent work of UIC by encouraging and facilitating UIC’s whole-system approach, recognising that good insights, novel ideas and optimum solutions are born through collaborative effort”.
All of the members had the opportunity to introduce themselves.
The membership application of a newcomer to the Safety Platform was endorsed: Euskotren (Eusko Trenbideak - Ferrocarriles Vascos SA) from the Spanish Basque Country has been an associate member of UIC since 1999.
Mr Hénon also introduced Virginie Papillault and welcomed her to the UIC Safety Unit as Human & Organisational Factors/Safety Culture Manager.
The members endorsed the creation of taskforces on:
- extreme weather conditions (with heavy rain, high temperatures, strong winds as initial topics)
- the concept of a safety barrier/digitalisation of SMS
The new Terms of Reference (ToR) for the UIC Safety Platform and its working groups were presented and discussed during the meeting.
Members were given additional time to comment, with the deadline fixed for 11 April. The text will be presented for ratification by the UIC General Assembly at its meeting on 7 July and will come into force as from that date.
The Chairs of the Safety Platform Working Groups had the opportunity to present their work programmes for 2021-2022:
- Maria Hedqvist of Trafikverket, Chair of the Occupational Health and Safety Group, invited further members to take part in the OHSG’s activities, including a study on fatigue. UIC members who wish to propose representatives are asked to contact Virginie Papillault at email@example.com
- The Human Factors Working Group, chaired by Bernard Penners of Infrabel, is to become the Human and Organisational Factors WG: HOFWG in order to align with ERA’s work programme but also to send a message to the high-level railway safety leaders on the importance of organisational factors. UIC advised that a HOF Digital Platform is being developed and will offer open access. This global railway community-based platform will connect both specialists and non-specialists in railway human and organisational factors. UIC members who wish to participate are asked to contact Virginie Papillault at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bart Hoogcarspel of ProRail, Chair of the Safety Performance Group (SPG) invited further members to become involved in the UIC Safety Database: https://uic.org/safety/safety-database/. UIC members who wish to participate are asked to contact Olivier Georger at email@example.com
- Achim Vollmutt of DB AG, Chair of the System Safety Management Group (SSMG) summarised the monthly activities of his group, which is primarily focused at present on the development of the CSM ASLP (Common Safety Methods for Assessing Safety Level and Safety Performance: https://www.era.europa.eu/library/consultations_en), the future Group of Analysts (GoA), etc.
- Allan Spence of Network Rail, Chair of the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF), advised that the Group will have a new name and logo from 18 March, the date of the next WG meeting. The ELCF will become the GLCN (Global Level Crossing Network). A call for new members will be sent by UIC. Members who wish to participate are asked at contact Isabelle Fonverne at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Spence presented the main activities of his group, in particular:
- a level crossing risk assessment method to be developed in 2021 through a taskforce in order to benchmark existing methods around the world. The results will be published by UIC in 2022. Mr Spence invited members to participate in the taskforce.
- ILCAD 2021: the worldwide campaign is being maintained in a scaled-down format similar to 2020. An online UIC international launch conference will again be held in collaboration with Network Rail on 10 June.
The creation of a new Safety Platform Working Group on trespassing and suicide prevention was proposed, supported by the members. UIC will send a call for candidates for the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair, as well as members. Potential members have already been proposed. The suggested name for the group is TreSP-Network. UIC members who wish to propose a Chair or members are asked to contact Isabelle Fonverne at email@example.com
The UIC Restrail toolbox can be consulted at http://www.restrail.eu/toolbox/
Members also shared information on safety events during the meeting.
Safety Platform meetings in 2021
- Steering Committee meetings:
- 18 June, online
- 28 September, online (TBC) (Steering Committee in the new format as per the new Safety ToRs
- 15 November, afternoon, either face-to-face or online
- Plenary meeting/workshop: 16 November
Face-to-face at UIC or online, depending on the situation with regard to the pandemic
- Webinar on a safety topic to celebrate the European Year of Rail
Visit the updated safety page on the UIC website at https://uic.org/safety/