Safety is one of the railways’ main assets compared to other transport modes. UIC and its members are therefore working together to maintain and further improve safety levels.

Safety is an essential vector for the efficiency and reliability of the railway system. In this context, UIC’s aim is to implement mechanisms to facilitate complementary, non-competitive objectives between stakeholders, enabling sharing of experience and highlighting best practice and success factors, all the while keeping people at the centre of its efforts.

Key topics for the Safety Department include:

  • improvement of the UIC Safety Database,
  • the Human and Organisational Factors Digital Platform,
  • safety at level crossings,
  • trespassing and suicide prevention,
  • digitalisation of safety management systems and global approaches to risk management.

Key challenges facing this business

The scale of time appropriate for measuring the effects of changes on safety is not measured in weeks, months or even years. Usually based on quarterly or yearly reports, measures against or in favour of safety may appear as harmless or ineffective. Similarly, when the safety level has visibly become too low, the time needed to reverse the trend might be too long to be acceptable by society.

Nevertheless, even if safety is a fundamental value of the railways all over the world, safety might be seen as jeopardising the railways’ business. However, it simply determines the right for the railway to exist, to survive, to operate its business. If railways are perceived as a threat to the safety of neighbours, environment, customers or staff, society will choose not to use railways.

Reference to how the business is organised

The structure of safety activities at UIC is as follows:

Achievements to be highlighted

  • ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day) worldwide annual campaign and launch conference
  • Annual safety report main outcome of the UIC Safety database
  • Annual International Human Factors Rail Conference with RSSB
  • Various workshops and training sessions and webinars on level crossing safety, safety management and human factors, safety culture, improving safety when working with contractors on the railways, electronic rule books, SPADs, etc.
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Tuesday 13 October 2020
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