Tuesday 31 August 2021

The first meeting of the “Safety barrier” Task Force, held on 24 August, confirmed the importance of a universal understanding of the concept.

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This meeting provided NMBS/SNCB an opportunity to present the general principles of their risk management based on the ‘Cassandra’ approach (CASe and Safety ANalysis for Detecting Risks and defining Actions). The system is organised around proactive, active and reactive risk management, and the risk management analysis is based on the interconnection of safety events, hazards and risk factors. The primary focus of SNCB risk management is human factors, inspired by the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) used in aviation.

RENFE then addressed the organisation context of the company and the organisational hierarchy of ‘Hazard Logs’. A first definition of the concept of safety barrier was drafted.

The two presentations given by NMBS/SNCB and RENFE launched interesting debates.

This confirms the importance of a universal understanding of the concept of safety barriers, particularly in the context of the future “digitisation” of safety management systems, which may take different forms depending on the approaches, investment capacities and safety cultures implemented by railway companies.

This task force is open to all UIC members. To join us, please contact Frédéric Hénon, Head of Operations and Safety at UIC at henon@uic.org

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