26–27 January 2016: European Rail Safety Forum

Image courtesy of European Rail Safety Forum

European Rail Safety Forum

The European Rail Safety Forum 2016 Managing Safety Culture to Meet Passenger Growth will take place in London on 26–27 January. The Forum will look at using human factors, behaviour management techniques and innovative technologies to improve safety at the platform train interface (PTI), transform risk culture and safely grow passenger numbers.

With a focus on accident prevention at the PTI by way of communication techniques to affect passenger behaviour, crowd reduction and factoring in human factors to safety planning , the Forum will share best practices on behavioural safety culture and staff training in health and safety.

Pre-Forum Workshops

On 25 January, the Forum will host a series of workshops to provide an in-depth look at innovative strategies and improvements which can be made to stations in order to further ensure the safety of passengers. By using passenger analytics and risk profiles, PTI safety can be enhanced in specific ways according to the station.

A second workshop, led by the Head of Safety and Environment at Virgin Trains East Coast, will look at best practices to create a safety culture within an organisation, starting at senior management level down to on-the-ground staff.

Safely Meeting Demands of Passenger Growth

Thierry Guinard, Safety and Environment Director for Keolis, will give a keynote speech on risk culture and safety governance in order to increase capacity. By working in cooperation with other stakeholders, policy and governance at a European level can improve safety culture across the industry by adhering to uniform standards. Steve Walder, Performance Manager for Transport for London will then speak on passenger behaviour influences  by the use of social media, customer and station analytics and company-wide policies which achieve the best results.

Issues such as accessibility, how best to accommodate and encourage responsible behaviour in vulnerable passengers will be looked at, in addition to experience-based learning opportunities.

Innovative technologies are constantly being developed to assist safe passenger growth and to enhance the safety of the rail network itself, including adapting new rolling stock to old tracks, signalling and automated trains and driver-assistance systems and real-time IT systems which work to improve both network and passenger safety will all be examined on the first day of the conference.

The human factor will be of particular importance at the Forum, with behaviour analysis, bilateral communication with passengers, employee training to improve passenger interface and the use of accident statistics to identify weak points in infrastructure and best practice of how to improve them all being discussed.

Integrating Safety Culture

Day two of the conference will focus on the ways in which employees influence  the safety of railway networks; including employee errors, safety cultures within organisations and how management and multi-layered safety systems can eliminate situations with single points of failure.

Taking an in-depth look at how an aging or fatigued workforce can impact the safety of the railway network, issues such as employee lifestyle, training and competence will be examined, alongside advising staff on how to maximise health and efficiency for and at work. Non-invasive technologies such as sensors to monitor eye movement will be looked at it in terms of cost-benefit and best practices from around Europe will be examined in tackling the challenges of an aging workforce .

Other areas looked at will be the Europe-wide transition to ERTMS, with staff training, managerial and structural adjustments to accommodate the new system, deployment strategies and managing the transitional period between the old and new systems.

Speakers coming from all over Europe, including Sweden, Spain, France and Germany will be sharing their insights and experiences to delegates from all around the world. There will be opportunities to network, with coffee breaks and a networking drinks reception, to touch base with existing colleagues and clients and make new associations, it promises to be an interesting and informative Forum.

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