Health and safety strategy and guidance


Our health and safety regulatory strategy sets out our approach to regulating health and safety risks created and managed by Britain’s railways. It looks at how we drive continuous improvement, deliver cost effective and safe railway, to be amongst the safest in the world.

Our strategic risk chapters

To help prioritise ours and the industry’s strategic focus we issue chapters, which we update as part of a rolling process, focused on the key risks from across the sector and based on incident data, risk trend analysis and the findings from our inspections, investigations and audits.

Health and safety regulatory approach

Our health and safety regulatory approach explains what we do in regulating health and safety across the rail industry.

Principles for railway health and safety

We have produced 'Principles for health and safety on the railway' to help dutyholders understand how to meet our expectations for the high-level goals that should be achieved by the railway when complying with the health and safety legislation.

Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3)

This document sets out the criteria we use to assess an organisation's ability to achieve excellence when controlling health and safety risks.

Risk management

Guidance and principles on assessing whether risks on railways have been reduced so far as is reasonably practicable and the use of cost benefit analysis in support of safety-related decisions.

Driver Controlled Operation (DCO)

Driver controlled operation of passenger trains (DOO) is where the train driver is in control of the door operation of the train.

Health and safety by design

Designing for simpler, easier to use and safer systems is a health and safety benefit.

Working patterns - fatigue

This page outlines why the rail industry needs to take staff fatigue seriously, and provides links to some key guidance.


We have produced detailed guidance on developing and maintaining staff competence.


Railway guidance documents

We produce internal instructions and guidance in the form of railway guidance documents.

DfT has a mailbox ( that rail industry members can subscribe to by emailing the mailbox with the subject "subscribe". The mailbox will be used by DfT to provide updates about developments in rail safety policy (for example the launch of a consultation, publication of reports, or updates to the website).