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.

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.

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Reporting railway incidents

An overview of the types of accidents and incidents that need to be reported and how they can be reported.

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

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. 

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.

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

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

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

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

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.