What can we do for rail safety?

The European Railway Agency (ERA) has launched an extensive study on rail transport culture. The aim of the survey, starts in January this year, will find out whether railway safety can be increased to a higher level than now, and with what ideas those working in the sector can contribute to that.

Picture 1: Components of a European model of railway safety culture

In the first phase of the survey, ERA started working with 100 organizations (EU authorities and companies). Among them are the railway companies of CER Cargo Holding: CER Hungary, which was the first one to join, and CER Slovakia, to test its survey. Nor was our companies uninterested in participating because they gained deeper insight into the principles behind legislation that can be incorporated into the development of safety culture and safety management systems.

In the first phase of the investigation, which ended in June, a total of 25,000 railway workers commented. In the case of CER railway companies, 110 of our colleagues who work in the operation and office area answered a series of anonymity questions. We thank them for their efforts.

The results of the survey, according to both ERA and CER experts, provide useful information for railway undertakings to continuously improve their safety management system. With the help of these, they can harmonize their internal processes, shape their regulations for practical implementation.

CER railway companies are also analyzing the results, on the basis of which they can decide which parts of their business are already working properly and where intervention is needed to reduce potential risks.

Picture 2: European railway companies partnering with ERA

The second phase of the survey will begin on 16 June as part of an official online opening. The EU agency intends to make the questionnaire available to all railway professionals from now on.

Employees of all service providers working in the railway field on behalf of the CER companies are encouraged to participate in the research and complete the questionnaire. The common experience and knowledge will certainly help to increase the level of safety on the European railway system. However, this is an interest for all of us.