An innovative supervision methodology for supporting the integration of Human and Organizational factors and Safety Culture in the Safety Management System of the Italian railway organizations

By March 3, 2024Cape Town 2023, Documents
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A systematic approach to conducting on-site audits was developed, based on specific Regulation (EU) 2018/762 requirements. During the on-site audits, semi-structured interviews are administered to the organization’s staff at different level aiming to:

– listen to the Leadership of the organizations, about the HOF and SC implementation strategy;
– listen to the operative staff’s point of view about the implementation of HOF and SC;
– verify the effectiveness of the actions implementing HOF and SC;
– quantify two indexes: Compliance and Effectiveness.

The Compliance index aims to verify, during on-site audits, the correspondence between planned and accomplished actions by the railway organization, while the Implementation index aims to quantify the statements collected during the semi-structured interviews.

The campaign is still ongoing and about 1/3 of the railway organizations have been audited so far, corresponding to about the 80% of the Italian railway network and about 20% of the traffic volume carried out by the railway undertakings.

On average, the Implementation index scores higher values than the Compliance index, suggesting that itÕs easier, for the railway organizations, to achieve some results (due to the introduction of safety culture during training and the already present high awareness of risks of the railwayÕs people) rather than to integrate HOF and SC systematically into the SMS. The level of implementation of HOF and SC varies importantly amongst organizations and further detailed analysis will be presented. Some cons found are a poor acknowledgment of the Safety Policy and Aims of the organization by the operative staff; a preference for verbal vs. written reports; the adoption of risk analysis methods not suitable for HOF and SC; the lack of internal audit on HOF. Some pros found are the implementation of efficient confidential report systems, high awareness of the safety role of the operative staff, and the engagement of external experts on HOF and SC. Overall, some positive collateral consequences will be discussed.

Year of Publication: 2023

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