Rail conference to highlight industry change challenges
The health and safety challenges created by changes to the rail network in the UK will be highlighted at a major industry conference.
With increasing passenger numbers leading to greater investment and changes in management structures, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) annual Rail Industry Conference will examine what these changes mean for its members and other senior leaders.
Sessions will look at how safety is being addressed as part of the changes process and how risks are being assessed.
The changes include the devolution of routes in Network Rail and new ways of working between significant industry bodies.
Ahead of the event, IOSH Railway Group Chair Keith Morey said: “It is pleasing that railways in the UK continue to enjoy a very good safety record. High levels of risks are matched by health and safety management systems which help to keep people out of harm’s way.
“However, as well as opportunities, change brings challenges. Not least among these are health and safety risks to workers and the public.
“A key health and safety challenge is that change can destabilise established measures of risk control and maybe introduce new hazards. New organisational forms can add complexity and lengthen lines of communication and accountability, hampering effective risk management.”
Keith added: “It is crucial that, no matter how rail networks evolve, health and safety remains central to the plans of all route and train operators. Yes, the need for change is imperative, but so is the need for ongoing health and safety management.
“Our conference will examine these challenges and look at how health and safety professionals and others working in the rail industry can overcome them.”
Speakers at the event will include George Bearfield, Director of Systems Safety and Health for the Rail Safety and Standards Board; Johnny Schute, Deputy Chief Inspector of Railways for the Office of Road and Rail; and Gary Cooper, Director for Planning, Engineering and Operations for the Rail Delivery Group.
The conference is being held at the Nottingham Belfry, Nottingham, between 9am and 4.45pm on Thursday 9 November. For more information, or to book a place, click here.