Safety is at the core of rail activity and forms part of the UIC Fundamental Values department within UIC. It is also a transverse subject. It plays a crucial role in the work of UIC activities: Passenger, Freight and Rail System.

UIC has an increasing role to play in helping its members to develop harmonised or compatible measures within a region to ensure the high level of safety expected from the railways, combined with constantly improving flexibility and competitiveness.

It will also facilitate the exchange of information, and lessons learned between regions between which there is little railway contact.

Safety for environment and neighbours, safety for passengers and customers are in most parts of the world right now very strong arguments in favour of developing the rail market share. Since all kinds of transport cross all borders, few national systems are able to manage safety in their country independently from other countries.

Key challenges facing this business

The scale of time appropriate for measuring the effects of changes on safety is not measured in weeks, months or even years. Usually based on quarterly or yearly reports, measures against or in favour of safety may appear as harmless or ineffective. Similarly, when the safety level has visibly become too low, the time needed to reverse the trend might be too long to be acceptable by society.

Nevertheless, even if safety is a fundamental value of the railways, all over the world, safety might be seen as jeopardising the railways’ business. However, it simply determines the right for the railway to exist, to survive, to operate its business. If railways are perceived as a threat to the safety of neighbours, environment, customers or staff, society will choose not to use railways.

Reference to how the business is organised

The structure of safety activities at UIC is as follows:

Achievements to be highlighted

  • ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day)
  • 3 Workshops on “Comparative review of safety culture” in Paris
  • Workshop on “Safety Management and Human Factors” in June 2012 in Tunis
  • Workshop on “Human factors in investigation of accidents/accidents”, 10-11 February 2014, UIC HQ, Paris
  • 3rd Edition of Training Workshop on safety on 27-28 May 2015 in Rabat
  • UIC/EFRTC Workshop “Safety protection on track during work” 18-19 February 2016 at UIC HQ
  • Workshop on Level Crossings in February 2016, Tehran, Iran
  • Workshop on Level Crossings on 23-24 March 2016, Cairo, Egypt
  • Workshop on Level Crossings on 18-20 October 2016 in Tunis
  • Dissemination workshop on “Safety management and safety culture”, “SPADs” and “Improving Health and safety when working with contractors on the railway” on 22 February 2017 at UIC HQ
  • Workshop on Electronic Rule Books on 26 September 2017 at UIC HQ in Paris
  • 6th International Human Factors Rail Conference 6-9 November 2017 in London
  • Workshop on Level Crossings on 14 February 2018 at UIC HQ in Paris

Next events

ILCAD worldwide campaign and launch international conference to take place on 6 June 2019 in the Netherlands hosted by ProRail.

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