Rail industry leaders met yesterday for a successful day of debating and networking during the RTM365 virtual event on The Future of Rail Safety.
The health and safety of the rail workforce and passengers is always at the forefront of everything the industry does.
Key figures from across the sector took this opportunity to discuss the ways in which safety can be improved further on the rail network.
The day was kicked off with a fascinating keynote speech from Dr Stuart Smith, Lead Ergonomist at HS2 Ltd.
This was swiftly followed by a leaders debate of passenger safety with contributions from Network Rail, The Samaritans and West Coast Rail.
Obhiye Udeubor, Principal Health and Safety Manager at Network Rail spoke on the panel and commented on safety in rail.
Mr Udeubor said: “It [the rail network] is a whole lot safer than it used to be.
“It should be a seamless journey from your home, to your destination and back home again.”
Delegates were then given the chance to network before the next captivating debate took place on trackside safety.
This conversation was essential considering the number of fatalities and close misses that have happened over the last three years.
Contributions were made from a myriad of rail organisations including Network Rail, Castell and Serv Trayvou and Transport for London.
This preceded the second keynote speech of the day from Ian Prosser CBE, Director of Railway Safety at the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
Mr Prosser took this opportunity to speak on the importance of rail safety and his concerns about the time it takes to move forward in this area.
Mr Prosser said: “Track work is the day job it is so important for the safety of passengers and keeping our operations without disruption.
“I am worried that in this sector we take too long to make simple changes that help improve safety.”
Safety technology was the next topic up for discussion with speakers from the Railway Industry Association, Loughborough University, AssessTech and Network Rail.
The panellists from this debate spoke eloquently on the ways the rail industry can embrace technology to help improve rail safety moving forward.
Following on from the second networking break of the day the penultimate debate got underway on workforce wellbeing.
The panellists here looked at the innovative ways the rail industry is supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of the workforce.
This featured input from Transport for Greater Manchester, The Rail Delivery Group and Network Rail.
To round off the day Lynn Chamberlain-Clark, Culture Lead for Safety Culture at Network Rail delivered the final keynote speech of the day.
Lynn then joined Neil Robertson, Chief Executive at The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) for the final debate of the day.
This final debate focussed on training and development and key ideas were shared on how the investment in employee training can boost safety, reliability and efficiency.
Overall, the debates and keynote speeches that took place during the event were incredibly insightful and vital ideas were shared on how to improve rail safety.