Health and safety guidance and compliance

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It's our responsibility to ensure that those responsible make Britain's railways safe for passengers and provide a safe place for staff to work.

We regulate health and safety for the entire mainline rail network in Britain, as well as London Underground, light rail, trams and the heritage sector.

The information on these pages, and within the ORR documents we refer to, is being reviewed and will be updated as necessary to reflect the fact that the EU exit transition period has ended. If  you have any questions regarding rail transport legislation from 1 January 2021 please refer to the GOV.UK website.

Annual health and safety report

Every year our HM Chief Inspector of Railways publishes his view on health and safety performance on Britain’s railways. Find out more from our 2020-21 report.

Passenger safety

Guidance on station safety, station and train crowding and rail vehicle accessibility.

Reporting RIDDOR incidents

This page provides an overview of the types of accidents and incidents that need to be reported and how they can be reported.

Level crossings

There are approximately 7,500 level crossings in Great Britain. Network Rail manages around 6,000. The rest are located on heritage railways, metro systems and industrial railways.

Safety strategy and guidance

Our health and safety strategy sets out our approach to regulating health and safety risks created and managed by Britain’s railways. 

Health and safety investigation and enforcement powers

How we are informed when a serious incident occurs and how we work with other bodies in the railway to find out what has happened and why, and the range of our formal enforcement powers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Health and safety laws

An overview of the main rail-specific legislation that we enforce using health and safety powers.

Railway infrastructure and vehicle safety

We have powers of investigation and enforcement to ensure that railway operators are controlling risks posed by infrastructure and railway vehicles.

Occupational health

Advice and guidance on occupational health matters for railway managers and employees.

Applying for permissions, certificates or authorisations

We grant health and safety permissions and approvals to railway operators. There is detailed guidance on how to apply.

Pam Warren Report: Is safety really part of the rail industry’s DNA?

ORR commissioned the Pam Warren Report: Is safety really part of the rail industry’s DNA? following the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Ladbroke Grove Rail Incident in 1999.