ORR expectations
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ORR expectations

20 years on from the Clapham Junction Inquiry the spotlight is back on safety culture within the rail industry. The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), formerly Her Majesty’s Rail Inspectorate [HMRI]) has definite expectations about safety management and safety culture on rail companies, and it has a programme in place to validate the recommendations from various public inquiries (eg. the Cullen Inquiry).

Following consultation in 2006, the ORR have set out their vision and priorities for industry in their Health and Safety Strategy (2009-14). This strategy forms part of the overall ORR corporate strategy. Sections of ORR’s strategy relevant to the development of a positive rail industry safety culture are summarised below.

Aims of the strategy

“...all parts of the railways to have excellent health and safety culture and risk control processes by 2014."

“We believe that achieving this goal will enable the industry to come much closer than it currently is to achieving zero employee and industry-caused passenger fatalities and declining levels of risk. More consistent adoption of best practice in occupational health will also contribute to increased efficiency”.

“We expect the rail industry to continuously examine its behaviour and management systems to identify and implement reasonably practicable improvements. We believe that good health and safety performance contributes to good business performance”.

Specific strategic goals

(i) “that the safety culture in all major duty holders has improved by 2014 to a level that can be shown to be excellent on an internationally acknowledged measurement system”;

(ii) “that the industry puts in place rules, standards, procedures and technology to support that culture”;

(iii) “that all incidents and injuries are investigated promptly and thoroughly by the industry and actions closed out through a robust process”.

Key requirements contained within ORR’s Business Plan (2009-10)

(i) “ensure duty holders and the industry address common threads (in safety culture)”.