The Annual Safety Report from the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has highlighted the important role of technology in helping to maintain and enhance the safety record of the railways in Britain.
Rail is one of the safest forms of transport according to figures released by the rail safety body, which is even more impressive given the substantial and unanticipated growth that means the network is close to full capacity, therefore putting even more pressure on the system.
But here, the use of technology and smart data has proven vitally important according to the Annual Safety Report because, by collecting and analysing this data, the rail industry has been able to reduce risks by almost a quarter at level crossings since 2014; in the same time, the risk of derailment has decreased by 11%, and the risk from signals passed at danger is a third of what it was in 2006.
Elsewhere, the rail sector faces challenges to protect passengers and rail staff, as well as to reduce the risk of trespassers on the line.
Again, technology and smart data have been used to address the risks; one of the initiatives included the use of wearable technology such as body cameras; staff doing so have reported fewer assaults and less abuse, which has also helped staff improve the safety of staff in the vicinity who weren’t wearing the cameras.
Technology is being mobilised throughout the industry, helping it to become more efficient and cost effective, with plans in place to increase this in future.
And the Annual Safety Report from the RSSB reveals its importance in reducing the risk on our railways.
George Bearfield, RSSB Director of System Safety, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Rail remains one of the very safest forms of transport, a position supported by our analysis of the safety data from across the national rail network in the last year.
“Rail has a proven blueprint for successful, collaborative, risk management to apply, and emerging technology – such as monitoring systems and wearables – are also providing opportunities for improvement and showing some early signs of success.”