UK: The Office of Rail & Road published its annual health & safety performance report on July 17.

No passengers died as a result of using trains in the past year, however one child died following an accident in a freight depot, and there were two worker fatalities, one through natural causes.

ORR said the industry was making good progress with changes recommended by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch following its investigation into the 2016 Croydon tram derailment, and there had been significant progress in embedding health and safety considerations in the design stage of projects.

The report urges the rail industry to focus on three key challenges:

  • supporting our people: supporting staff with regard to mental health and fatigue;
  • system pressure: new equipment is being introduced and train frequencies have increased, but running on a Victorian network creates challenges that must be risk-controlled;
  • technology: developments can improve safety, performance and value-for-money, but attention must be paid to how people interact with the new technology.

‘It is a tribute to the hard work, expertise and professionalism of everyone connected to the railways that our network remains one of the safest in the world’, said HM Chief Inspector of Railways, Ian Prosser.