An overview of the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority for Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 2006 (as amended) (EARR).


  • allocate health and safety enforcement functions to ORR in relation to railways, tramways and other guided transport systems; and
  • clarify the respective responsibilities of ORR and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the enforcement of health and safety law in relation to railways, tramways and other guided transport systems

About EARR

The Railways Act 2005 transfers responsibility for railway-related health and safety matters from HSE to ORR by giving ORR responsibility for the application of Part 1 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) in respect of ‘railway safety purposes’. This means that ORR has policy responsibility for any health and safety risks that either exclusively or primarily concern the construction or operation of railways, tramways or other guided transport systems.

The Railways Act 2005 (Amendment) Regulations 2006 remove ‘guided bus systems’ and ‘trolley vehicle systems’ from the definition of ‘railway safety purposes’, so these systems remain with HSE. These Regulations also make it clear that ‘transport system’ does not include fairground equipment as defined in section 53 of HSWA.

EARR allocates enforcement functions to ORR and defines whether ORR or HSE is the enforcing authority for particular activities. Appendix A of the Memorandum of Understanding between ORR and HSE describes how this will work in practice.

2018 post implementation review of EARR

In 2018, ORR, in consultation with HSE, carried out and published a post implementation review of EARR. The review sought to establish whether, and to what extent, EARR had achieved their original objectives; and whether they should remain as they were or be revoked or amended.