Health and safety

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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.

Britain now has one of the safest railways in Europe – for passengers and for workers, but we cannot be complacent. There is always more the industry can do to improve this country's health and safety record even further. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The ORR annual report on health and safety 2019/20 stresses that safety across Britain's railways has improved over the last 12 months but more needs to be done to tackle the impacts of climate change.