Tuesday 4 April 2023

Third peer review session on the Twinning II project held from 26 to 31 March

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A team of peer reviewers from the European Twinning II project, which aims to “strengthen cooperation between railway stakeholders to improve safety culture”, conducted a third peer review session from 26 to 31 March.
This is thanks to the commitment of Infrabel, who decided to actively participate and to be one of the very first EU stakeholders to organise such a peer review.

As coordinator of the project, UIC would like to thank the management of Infrabel for making this possible, especially Bernard Penners for being so thorough with its organisation, and Neil Blakeley from Irish Rail for leading the peer review team.
UIC and the Twinning II project team would also like to thank all the Infrabel operational and management staff from various departments in Brussels and Gand. These staff members gave us their time and agreed to share their views on how safety culture should be improved.

UIC warmly thank the Twinning II team for their outstanding work: IRISH RAIL (leader of this peer review), OBB, Trenitalia France, DB CARGO France, CFL Cargo, EPSF and ACF.

The full consortium would like to specially thank ERA, especially Bart Accou, Gregory Rolina, Kim Drews and Fabrizio Carpinelli, for their support of the review team during the preparation phase and management of the methodological part, mainly based on the ERA Safety Culture Model.

The peer review at Infrabel was conducted using three types of sessions:

  • focus groups;
  • interviews; and
  • on-site observations to analyse the reality of the workplace.
    This peer review provided an opportunity to observe three on-site night work situations.

The peer review tool and process help members to benchmark themselves by means of a thorough and objective review of activities, carried out by an independent team from outside their organisation (in this case, the Twinning II team).
A final report is issued to the host company highlighting strengths and areas for improvement within their safety culture.

In conclusion, one of the strengths of this peer review exercise is that it encourages and supports the sharing of expertise between consortium members and increases levels of awareness and commitment to safety within the host and visiting organisations. Through peer review, members learn and share general knowledge about safety culture and improve their own performance.

We hope that peer reviews will become a central and permanent activity of the UIC and ERA Safety units in Europe, and beyond at international level, so we look forward to hearing from you!

As a conclusion to this project, UIC and the consortium partners will produce a guide summarising the methodology and detailing positive safety culture practices for operators to implement as part of each company’s SMS.
To close this project, UIC will organise a final event in June bringing together all the consortium partners in order to collect feedback and suggestions that could improve the peer review process (methodology, organisation and logistics), and thus prepare for the next peer review.

The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Commission number MOVE/C4/SUB/2020-62/SI2.862249

For further information, please contact Virginie Papillault at papillault@uic.org

or Frédéric Hénon at henon@uic.org

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