The key lessons

The key lessons

There is consensus amongst academics and safety professionals on the key elements of an organisation’s safety culture that produce excellent safety performance. These are reflected in the Office of Rail Regulation’s Railway Management Maturity Model and their safety culture audit tool for inspectors, the HSE’s generic 5-level model of Safety Culture Maturity ® (that underpins this RSSB’s toolkit) and the priorities identified in the Ladbroke Grove Inquiry Report for the development of a positive safety culture. [Safety Culture Maturity ® is a registered trademark of The Keil Centre Limited].

The key lessons are clear:

• We need effective and appropriate safety management systems that remove barriers to safe working and that foster the correct attitudes and behaviours across an organisation;

• We need demonstrable safety leadership & visible management commitment to health and safety; this needs to be ‘felt’ across the organisation and will be evident from the priority and resourcing given to safety;

• We need workforce participation, involvement and positive attitudes towards health and safety so staff at all levels accept they have a role in making sure their behaviour and decisions do not endanger others. Generally, the higher the involvement, the more positive the safety culture;

• We need organisational learning and continuous improvement, where incidents and failures are seen as opportunities to learn valuable lessons and improve operations. This crucially dependent on the development of a just culture and effective reporting culture.