Rail Safety Week 2024 – Let’s Build Safety Together

By Elaine Clark, Chief Executive Officer at Rail Forum

Rail Safety Week 2024 will run from Monday 24 – Sunday 30 June.

With safety remaining of paramount importance to the rail industry, Rail Forum is committed to delivering Rail Safety Week 2024.

Rail Safety Week was the brainchild of Alan Tarrant. In 2023, Rail Forum then adopted the initiative. Rail Safety Week runs separately to Rail Forum’s day-to-day work with its own website and the clear message that safety is for everyone, and anyone can get involved.

Over 140 organisations took part last year, bringing rail safety to the forefront of people’s minds in the workplace, the industry, communities and schools, and we hope that in 2024 it will be even bigger.

The original founder with Elaine and RSW Chair, Simon Higgens
The original founder with Elaine and RSW Chair, Simon Higgens

Safety is and always will be a key priority for the rail industry. While other initiatives come and go, safety should be an enduring constant that transcends commercial interests. This dedicated week encourages organisations to take action and reinforce the importance of health and safety. We all have a vested interest in ensuring that everyone gets home safely every day, and by getting involved and supporting Rail Safety Week we can amplify our collective safety messages to colleagues, customers and the public.

So What Is Rail Safety Week?

It’s a dedicated week during which we encourage as many organisations to do something health or safety-related for their staff, customers or the general public. What organisations do is entirely up to them. Suggested options include launching a new health or safety initiative, running health or safety training or holding toolbox talks. It could include social media videos of team members talking about what safety means to them.

This is an opportunity to be creative and involve team members in developing ideas. Public-facing organisations might run an initiative improving public awareness of the hazards on or around trains or stations; those working with young people could educate them about the danger of trespassing on the railway. It doesn’t need to cost a lot. In fact it doesn’t need to cost anything other than a bit of time.

Elaine and Huw Merriman, Minister of State for Transport of the United Kingdom
Elaine and Huw Merriman, Minister of State for Transport of the United Kingdom

Rail Safety Week isn’t a single event, rather a dedicated week full of activities and events by organisations across the industry. Rail Forum’s role is to encourage people to get involved to do something for themselves.

Currently, a lot of companies are focusing on mental health and wellbeing. Rail Safety Week could provide an opportunity for you to address that gap. Alternatively, you could focus on a specific aspect of safety that is especially relevant to your organisation. For ideas and inspiration on how to get involved, click here and for further inspiration, see the support and activities from organisations in 2023.

Organisations can submit their plans via a simple form on the What’s On 2024 page, and Rail Forum will promote your events and activities via the Rail Safety Week channels. There is also a FREE suite of Rail Safety Week branded materials that we encourage you to use to showcase your support.

Elaine Clark, CEO of Rail Forum said:

“It’s not for us to tell people what they should do. We organise a one-day launch conference which covers a range of topics from workplace health and safety to the work of community rail partnerships. Our 2024 conference includes a wide range of speakers from industry, regulators and more; it’s open to all and free to attend. We also publicise events that organisations are arranging and highlight those that are open to others to attend.”

Rail Safety Week also presents a fantastic opportunity to provide some fun activities for our younger audience and to educate school-age children about the importance of safety on and around the railway. There will be a colouring competition for younger children and a rail-themed crossword for those a little older. Both can be found on the Rail Safety Week website and are open to children from across the UK. So why not encourage your children, or grandchildren to take part?

Elaine concludes:

“Rail Safety Week is something all of us can get behind. At a time when the industry is being encouraged to collaborate more, what better reason can there be to work and build safety together?”

 Rail Forum invites industry colleagues to join the Rail Safety Week Conference which will be hosted in Manchester between 09:30 – 14:00 on Monday 24 June 2024.

The focus of this year’s Conference will be on driving improvement in health and safety and we will consider the importance of both process and people. We have a great lineup of speakers, with contributions from Kier Group, PA Consulting, 3Squared, Intersol Global, Evalu-8, Network Rail, ORR, LRSSB, Department for Transport, Morson Group, Railway Mission, Community Rail Network, East Midlands Railway and more.

Secure your free place here.

This article was originally published in our Railway-News magazine.

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