U.K. Agency Launches Rail Safety Web Page

The Rail Industry Advisory Committee (RIAC) of the United Kingdom's Health and Safety Commission has launched a Railway Human Factors page on the Health and Safety Executive Web site.

The page, which is located at http://www.hse.gov.uk/railways/liveissues/humanfactors/index.htm, provides a wide variety of human factors information, from design and ergonomic issues to risks associated with violence and assaults on railway staff. They are aimed at all those who work in the rail industry to provide help and empower staff, particularly those on the front line, to become better able to manage human factors in their work.

The information falls under three broad categories: what people are asked to do (task/environment/equipment); the individual who is doing it (competence/attitude/capability); and how the work is organized (leadership/resources/culture). The issues are outlined with case studies detailing live experience of the issues and how they were resolved. Links to further information also are provided.

"We are hoping that the web pages will provide authoritative guidance for all railway staff, not only to help management address some of the major issues facing the workforce, but also in equipping the workforce themselves with the information and competences they may need to address their circumstances," said Aidan Nelson of the Rail Safety and Standards Board and chair of RIAC's human factors working group. "A human factor usually features prominently in every accident report, so by highlighting these issues we hope that the Web pages can have a positive impact in driving down the number of incidents on railways caused by human factors."

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