Monday 25 October 2010
Railway Safety

UIC Safety Platform Plenary Meeting (Paris, 28 – 29 September 2010)

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The UIC Safety Platform Meeting takes place once a year; it is open to UIC members all over the world.
The meeting opened with Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of the Fundamental Values department, and Peter Gerhardt, Head of the Safety Unit, communicating the structure and the organisation of safety activities at UIC.

The continuation of the UIC Safety Platform chairmanship for 2011/2012 was confirmed:

  • Chairman: Jean-Michel Richard (SNCF)
  • Vice-Chairman: Julian Lindfield (Network Rail)

The participants were informed about the workstreams by the chairmen of the following five Safety Platform Advisory Groups:

  • SSMG: System Safety Management Group/CER Safety Support Group
  • SPG: Safety Performance Group – UIC Safety Database
  • IRSN: International Rail Safety Network – Safety Benchmarking
  • OHSG: Occupational Health and Safety Group
  • HF: Human Factors

The SSMG/CER Safety Support Group was mentioned as being a joint UIC/CER group, whose job is to support and coordinate the sector’s position, which is then put forward by the CER speakers to the ERA WGs which work on safety-related issues.

Following the retirement of the present SSMG/CER SSG Chairman Fritz Schröder (DB AG), who has led this group for the past three years, Jean-Francois Meunier (SNCF) has been confirmed as the new Chairman from November 2010, with the continued support of Yves Mortureux (UIC Safety Platform Support Team/SNCF).

In 2010 the Safety Platform/Unit took over the responsibility of the UIC Safety Database (SDB) from the Infrastructure Forum/Dept. The new SDB manager Samuel Russell presented the draft SDB activity report; it includes about 2300 significant accidents from 21 European members in 2009, more than 80% of which were caused by third parties and were mostly trespassing and accidents at level crossings, the road rail interfaces. The final version of the report will be published in December 2010 and will be available at

Koichiro Suzuki (EJR/UIC) presented the first results of the discussion within the Asian region concerning the extension of the UIC SDB to other regions. There is also discussion with members of the Middle-East region on this subject, which will be continued in 2011.

Alan Davies (RSSB), Chairman of the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) for which UIC is the secretariat (I.Fonverne), presented the activities on safety at level crossings. He also presented ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day), initiated by ELCF and coordinated by Isabelle Fonverne, Project Officer for Safety and Interoperability within the UIC Safety Unit. This campaign took place on
22 June in more than 40 countries worldwide and will be extended to additional countries in 2011. For more details see

Koichiro Suzuki (EJR/UIC) informed the participants about the 11th Global Level Crossing Symposium which will be held from 26 to 29 October 2010 in Tokyo – please visit

Virginie Papillault, Senior Advisor for the Human Sciences/Safety Unit, presented the interim report for the project “Organisational and human aspects of safety at border crossings”, which will be finished in late 2010. A workshop on human factors will be organised in spring 2011, where the final report also will be presented.

The participants were also informed about the following two proposals on safety-related research projects as part of the 5th call of the 7th European Research Programme:

  • “Mitigation measures and good practice to reduce human fatalities and disruption of services resulting from suicides and trespasses on railway property” (RESTRAIL), coordinated by the UIC Security Unit;
  • “Reducing the occurrences and impact of freight train derailment” (D-RAIL), coordinated by the UIC Rail System Department.

Eric Peetermans (SNCB/UIC Combined Transport WG) presented the results of the ongoing activity on “Carriage of concentrated loads in international loading units and freight wagons”. UIC will prepare a joint workshop for 2011 with the partners involved.

The next Safety Platform Plenary Meeting is planned for 11 – 12 October 2011 at UIC HQ, Paris.

For more information please contact Peter Gerhardt:

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