Tuesday 23 November 2021

Safety Platform plenary meeting held on 16 November 2021

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The UIC Safety Platform plenary meeting was held on 16 November. UIC Director General François Davenne opened the meeting, highlighting that safety is a fundamental value of the railways and is of high priority both at international and European level. He said: “At the European level, we are entering into reality. We are no longer talking about regulations; we have now actual incidents with measures to be taken. UIC will have to respond to these incidents with our technical solutions, and have a common dialogue on safety globally to act collectively in our projects with a common vision”.

Ali Chegini, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and Chair of the UIC Safety Platform, welcomed 30 participants attending both online and in person, who approved the minutes of the previous meeting held on 18 June 2021.

In the absence of Allan Spence, Network Rail, current Chair of the Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN), Isabelle Fonverne announced that Mr Spence would continue to chair the group at least until the end of June 2022, after the ILCAD campaign and launch conference to be held on 9 June 2022. A new call for chairmanship will be launched this week. Candidates should send their applications to UIC to be discussed and endorsed at the next GLCN meeting scheduled for 24 March 2022, to be hosted by Irish Rail in Dublin.

The Chairs of the Safety Platform Working Groups reported on their activities. Maria Hedqvist of Trafikverket presented new technologies to manage risks at work and the Occupational Health and Safety Group (OHSG) statistics.

Bernard Penners of Infrabel and Virginie Papillault of UIC presented the latest beta version of the future Rail HOF (Human and Organisational Factors) Digital Platform and the LinkedIn group to be launched at the end of the year. Rail HOF is a worldwide platform dedicated to human and organisational factors and non-HOF experts who wish to learn more about the topic and share case studies, best practices and knowledge on HOF topics. This platform is aimed toward the railway community as well as other industrial sectors willing to improve the integration of HOF in safety. The Rail HOF Digital Platform is managed, designed and developed in close collaboration with ERA and the HOF WG members.

Achim Vollmuth of DB AG provided updated information on the System Safety Management Group (SSMG) and more specifically on JNS topics (Great Belt Bridge, flaming brake blocks), CSM ASLP, GoA working arrangements, GoA WPs and subgroups, and ECM and SAIT.

On behalf of Allan Spence, Isabelle Fonverne reported on the activities of the Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN) and its meeting of 4 November. The main item discussed was the results of the UIC questionnaire on level crossing risk assessment methods used in various countries around the world. The questionnaire was sent to GLCN members at the end of July. A more in-depth analysis will be carried out before the end of this year. A draft report will be ready in early 2022 to be submitted for discussion to GLCN at its 24 March meeting, the aim being to draft UIC guidelines on risk assessment methods. The need to regularly update the SAFER-LC toolbox was also discussed.

Ms Fonverne also advised that vulnerable people had been chosen as the target group for the 14th International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), due to take place on 9 June 2022. The launch conference will be kindly hosted by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) in Denver, USA, followed by a technical visit in Pueblo on 10 June 2022.

A call for papers and a registration form will be published soon on www.ilcad.org
Alexander Ivanenko (RZD) provided an overview of the activities of the UIC Trespass and Suicide Prevention Network (TreSP-Network) and reported on its second meeting held on 25 October 2021, with a discussion of the results of a worldwide UIC questionnaire on trespassing and suicide prevention programmes sent to members at the end of August 2021. Future updates to the Restrail toolbox were also discussed: http://www.restrail.eu/toolbox/

Mr Ivanenko invited the members to take part in a special half-day session on trespassing and suicide prevention to be held on 8 June 2022 before the ILCAD launch event. The session will be held in Denver, USA at the invitation of AAR/FRA and OLI.

Bart Hoogcarspel of ProRail shared information on the Safety Performance Group (SPG), the 2021 safety report and the work plan for 2022. The members endorsed the 2021 safety report, the public version of which was published just after the meeting, along with a press release.

Frédéric Hénon of UIC reported on the activities of the UIC Safety team. UIC gave a presentation during the IRSC 2021 event online. The message was that “safety must now be considered through an integrated approach, thanks to the digitalisation of the ecosystem, and pave the way toward the industrial performance of railways, combining the capacity to learn lessons and update documentation, but moreover to make the railway capable of adaptation facing unknown/unpredicted situations”. Industrial performance requires consideration of integrated safety, punctuality and reliability of trains, interoperability and sustainability to achieve optimal productivity in the railway system.

Mr Hénon provided information on the taskforce on safety barriers, launched last year to facilitate exchange and digitalisation, and announced that the taskforce would continue its work to study the conditions required for and feasibility of developing a library of “bowties” corresponding to good practice in industrial risk management.

In collaboration with ERA, UIC will head up a dedicated taskforce on the ERA safety climate survey for follow-up actions from the first stage of the survey.

A dedicated UIC steering committee for the taskforce on extreme weather is due to be put in place by the end of the year at UIC headquarters. A number of dedicated workshops will be organised for 2022 so that quick wins can be identified and good practices delivered. A dedicated project team is to be launched on the topic of flooding.

With regard to the use of hydrogen in the railways, a proposal has been made to carry out a general risk analysis on hydrogen use in the railways from a systemic point of view (IM, RU, interfaces with suppliers and providers, assets, operations, etc.).

The members also endorsed the 2022 budget to finance the Safety Platform’s ongoing activities.

In the afternoon, Yasunari Nakajima of JR East gave a presentation on: “How should DX (digital transformation) support safety for manpower?”, showing how skills can be improved. He added that safety levels can be improved through digital transformation.

The participants discussed a potential theme and dates for a safety webinar, and Tuesday 25 January 2002 was finally selected. The webinar will focus on:

  • separating workers and trains – eliminating track worker deaths
  • cooperation with contractors to make traffic safer

Finally, Françoise Enjolras, Manager of UIC’s IT Department, gave a presentation on the use of the UIC Extranet safety section.

Safety Platform key dates for 2022:

Safety Platform Steering Committee meetings:

  • 9 March 2022 (online)
  • 5 or 6 July 2022 (online), TBC
  • 22 September 2022 in Moscow (before the TreSP-Network meeting on 23 September in Moscow)
  • 16 November 2022 at UIC, Paris (in person)

Safety Platform Plenary meeting:

  • 17 November 2022 at UIC, Paris (in person)

Press release on the UIC safety report:
Link to the UIC safety report

Link to eNews article: https://uic.org/com/enews/article/railway-safety-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne, Senior Safety Advisor: fonverne@uic.org

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