The UIC Safety Platform Steering Committee met in Paris on 25th June preceded on 23rd and 24th June by a workshop related to Human Factors and the impact of new technology.
As is usually the case, the agenda was very extensive with input coming from all of the working areas that make up the framework within which the Safety Platform works. Safety Platform chairman Jean-Michel Richard (SNCF) and Deputy Chairman, Julian Lindfield (Network Rail) were able to welcome the new UIC Chief Executive Jean-Pierre Loubinoux. The UIC having gone through a very traumatic period over the past year, is currently being reorganised and a dedicated safety unit is to be created that will support not only the UIC Safety Platform and its work but also be in a position to advise all the other UIC working bodies on safety and human factors-related issues.
Central to the Safety Platform’s work is that performed in the area of System Safety Management (support and guidance to experts at ERA, recommendations for Common Safety Methods, Common Safety Targets, Common Safety Indicators and Assessment and Certification). The latest developments in all these areas were presented by Fritz Schröder (DB). The key topic of “Risk Acceptance Criteria” was specifically considered not only in relation to the work already achieved, but more importantly on the work in progress and still to come, especially in relation to the ERA’s objectives in this area.
The steering committee highlighted the importance not only of supporting the sector “speakers” in the ERA working groups with defendable positions but also the importance of continuing the development of the relationship that the Safety Platform has with ILGGRI, the association of National Safety Authorities.
In the area of Safety Performance the meeting was informed of the decision recently taken that the responsibility for the UIC Safety Database would be transferred from the Infrastructure Forum to the Safety Platform and would be managed by the UIC safety unit with effect from January 2010. The steering committee confirmed the importance of the existence of the Safety Database tool and the importance that analysis of the data it contains has in contributing to influencing strategic safety planning.
The Occupational Health and Safety group’s deputy chairman, Michael Beyer (DB) highlighted the current initiatives including those involving the colour of high visibility clothing and the proposal to prepare some guidelines on the use of mobile phones and other electronic equipment when working around railway lines. He also advised members of a joint activity with the European Federation of Rail Track Contractors related to contractors working on the track and the organisation of a workshop dealing with the combined subjects of stress and post-traumatic stress to be held at the UIC on 18th November 2009.
Members were asked to note that the 2009 plenary meeting will be held on 22nd and 23rd October at the UIC and that the International Rail Safety Conference (IRSC) is being organised by Banverket and will be held in Sweden from 28th September to 2nd October 2009 – details on the UIC’s homepage www.uic.org.