Annual health and safety report


Our annual report on health and safety for 2021 to 2022 highlights marked improvement in track worker safety risk exposure.

Ensuring that the mainline rail industry remains focused on the basics of health and safety management as it prepares for reform and substantial change is one of the key messages in our annual report of health and safety on Britain’s railways.

The report also highlights Britain’s railways remain amongst the safest in Europe and that risk on the mainline railway is at an all-time low.

However, concerns remain about recent accidents and near misses, particularly in non-mainline sectors, and the need to strengthen safety management and oversight following the pandemic.

Video: Watch our annual report launch event

We welcomed stakeholders to the launch of our annual report on 14 July. Speakers from ORR included HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser CBE and ORR’s Deputy Director Safety Strategy, Policy and Planning Jen Ablitt, as well as ORR Railway Safety Directorate colleagues Errol Galloway, Richard Hines and Paul Appleton. Special thanks to our guest speaker Emma Head, Technical Services Delivery Director at HS2 Ltd.

Read the video transcript

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Introductions by Ian Prosser CBE – HM Chief Inspector of Railways/Director, Railway Safety, ORR

Welcome, everyone. Thanks for coming to the event this morning here in Birmingham. We decided to get out of London, so we'll be doing some of these in the regions in future. I'm just going to explain, the fire exits are over there. There's no planned fire alarm test and the toilets are there that you can see. I'm just going to start with some introductions and a few words to start with and then I'm going to leave the rest of it to my team. Unfortunately, I have to leave at about 9.30 to go to a funeral today, so the Q&A I will be leaving in the safe hands of my team and I'll talk in a minute.

Emma Head is here and I'll give her an introduction when I finish my little piece. I just want to say a few words at the beginning. It's been a challenging year. We still were going through the pandemic in the year that we've just reported and I'd like to thank everyone in the railway family for continuing to keep the railways going in what was in that year, some challenging times, as we still had restrictions and they would change, sometimes quite quickly.

But we face more challenges ahead going forward.

There's the financial challenges that we will face as passenger numbers have decreased and effectively looks as though it's going to take some time to get those back. We are dealing with inflation now and we have the industrial relations difficulties that we have to contend with as well. But we must change as a sector to respond to these challenges. And change is good for safety because very often it leads to improved safety in terms of health and wellbeing and it actually also improves efficiency as well. And so it's important as a railway sector, we do move with the times and we can learn some of that from history as well, when we were a bit slow.

So from a health and safety perspective, I've had a vision of zero industry cause fatalities and ever decreasing risks since I started this job, which is now nearly 14 years ago, but through excellence in health and safety management and risk control. But that's not about gold plating, it's about doing the right things right and it's about continuous improvement. When I first talked about this in my early days, people asked me, how do we know where we are?

So, as an organisation, we developed RM3, that's now become a sort of industry norm and Errol is going to talk about our e-learning module and RM3 a bit more later on. But what's been really pleasing with that is that now the sector is helping us to develop it further and we relaunched it in 2019 and that has become a sort of benchmark for people to use, but it's all about continuous improvement rather than scores on the doors.

Jen Ablitt is going to take you through the report but I will mention just what I see is four key challenges which you'll see in my forward in the report. Those are managing the legacy impacts of the pandemic. The result of the pandemic was that there were things like assessments etc and frontline assurance that was less frequent than in the past so we need to catch up on things and that has started but we need to be mindful of where some of the things that we had to do during those times.

The second theme I want to talk about is managing change, so this is going to be really important over the next few years as we face the challenges but we do need to change.

But we need to manage it in an effective way and that means taking people along with us and involving those that are affected by the change but it's important that we do safety validation effectively but that we do manage that in a professional and effective way. Sometimes in this sector over the years that's not been done as well as it could have been and as a result we did see some issues sometimes with safety.

The third one is supporting people. I'm very keen to continue the improvements the sector has been making in health and wellbeing particularly also mental health - that's going to be increasingly important with the challenges that we face and we need to continue that progress that's been made in the last few years through things like the Wellbeing Alliance so health is a really important aspect and it's also one of those things that is both good obviously from a health and wellbeing point of view and people's performance, it does impact and will improve our effectiveness and efficiency.

This sector loses a lot of money through ill health and it's an area where if we really focus on we can actually start to improve and we're making strides in the data area which is very important so that we know where we are and where our drive should be to continually improve.

And lastly it's implementing technology effectively. Technology is vital and it gives us great opportunities to improve health and safety and also efficiencies and we do need to embrace it because as I said the conference just last week, ALARP moves with time so it's really important that we do embrace it but do it in an effective way and it can lead to real benefits. Now I'd like to congratulate Network Rail who's made some real strides after our improvement notices which we've now said they've complied with in terms of workforce safety because I kept going on about the fact I didn't want to see people walking around the railway with flags, whistles and horns in the 21st century, it was not needed and it goes back to the 19th century. 

So those are my few words. I would like to now to introduce Emma Head who is Technical Services Director of HS2. I've known Emma for quite a while, and I remember her joining Network Rail as Head of Workforce Safety. And I'd also just like to mention that Alan Spence recruited you into that role. Alan is here today. Alan is due in a few days’ time to actually retire from Network Rail, but I'm sure he'll be hanging around still. But I would like to thank Alan for all he's done, actually, in terms of improving health and safety on Britain's railways, both as Deputy Chief Inspector of HMRI, ORR and his work he's done in Network Rail.

So, anyway, I'd like Emma to come up. There you go. Thank you very much.

Emma Head – Technical Services Delivery Director, HS2 Ltd

Good morning, everyone. It's fantastic to be here today. Ian contacted me when he decided to announce the report in Birmingham and said, oh, we'd love somebody to come and talk who is local. Well, any of you who've walked up from the station have seen our construction works - I'm going out there later, I thought - I couldn't get any more local,  I'm delighted to help out today. And as Ian touched on, I've been in the industry now 23 years and I recognise lots of faces here today, which is fantastic.

For the last seven years, I haven't actually been on the conventional network. I've been working with High Speed Two (HS2) on the future of rail. So my role, Technical Service Delivery Director, I look after health, safety, security, environment and town planning, but also the engineering standards and how we deliver and integrate this railway into operation. And while it may look like a construction project today, it is a railway and it must work. And the lessons learned from Crossrail are obviously critical to that. But it must also integrate with the national network, which is why we pay such close attention to the stuff that ORR and RSSB are working on.

I just wanted to spend a moment to orientate you on HS2. A number of you that I've spoken to this morning have already commented on the size and scale of just one site and we now have about 115 sites live. So it is happening. We are now building the new high speed railway and it's about linking the country, it's about linking the biggest cities in Scotland, Manchester and Birmingham to London. It must integrate into the overall rail system and provide faster travel for everyone. So also helping cities not directly on the routes such as Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham and Derby.

We are currently in the process of building 170 miles of new high speed line. That's between London and Crewe. So we have two Acts of Parliament that give us permission to build that section of the railway. But in total, we're planning 260 miles of railway and we're having to build this to the highest standards, using world class engineering to protect the countryside as much as possible, to protect local communities and to cut carbon. It's a huge undertaking for a new intercity railway north of London and the first that's been built in over 100 years in the UK.

So far we have 24,000 people working on HS2 today in construction and that will go up to 34,000 at the peak of construction of phase 1 and 2a to Crewe. In there we have already set up 900 apprentices on their future career and there are 2,600 companies working through our supply chain, 70% of which are SMEs and about 95% are UK-based. So it's also part of building back better or part of the recovery post-pandemic and stabilising the construction sector. It will underpin the construction sector for the next 20 years, when you think of the longevity of building to Manchester and beyond.

But how we build this railway is as important as what we build and we have set out seven strategic goals. These are enshrined in our contract with government and we're held to account for delivering against them. It's about making us proud of what we deliver and leaving a legacy beyond just the construction of a railway. We have a vision to be a catalyst for growth for Britain, this is about connecting cities, levelling up geography in terms of the economic agenda.

I've already mentioned that we currently have 2,600 companies working for us.

In total, there will be 400,000 contracts let in the building of High Speed Two. It gives the UK infrastructure a pipeline of work through to 2042 so we can start to invest in the future of the sector. We have a huge programme on skills and employment where we're investing in getting diverse and different communities into rail and infrastructure, so that we have a pipeline of skills for the future. We do recognise in the building of HS2, we will have an impact on communities. I've already spoken to people here today who have happened to mention they live near or along the line of route. And of course, the construction of any project is difficult for those who experience the lorries on the roads and live near the construction works. We absolutely endeavour to be a good neighbour and to deliver HS2 respectfully. But of course, we haven't always got that right and we need to be honest about that and we need to continue to learn the lessons.

Last year I published the first environment sustainability performance report for HS2, September last year. 

So what is the case for High Speed? Well we refer to this as the three Cs - more capacity on the network, cutting carbon and providing better connectivity. Part of the capacity is making sure we integrate well with the conventional network. We have more trains, more services and better reliability overall into the system. The extra capacity generated by High Speed Two when finished will allow 36 million more rail journeys every year. I mean, it's massive, it's 18 trains an hour in each direction. That's every three minutes. So we are going to create significant capacity, but it's also about being carbon friendly. We are looking to be the first net zero carbon transport system, and we've already published that we will be net zero from day one of operations. We must be part of taking cars and lorries off the roads if we're going to be part of government's agenda for achieving net zero by 2050. But it's also about connecting cities and as I've already alluded to, it's about changing the economic geography, bringing far more investment into places like Birmingham, which you can see happening, and also the north.

HS2 has always been about more than a railway. It's an important social and economic regeneration project for the UK.

But let me talk now about some of the stuff that I think will be of interest specifically to us today. So the first one is our Green Corridor initiative. The scale of HS2 both cuts through the landscape, but also offers us great opportunity. And we're building a Green Corridor running alongside the route. That involves planting 7 million trees in the construction of phase one. We've so far planted over 7,000 and created more than 100 new habitats. That's grasslands, ponds and planting native trees. We've put 40 location-specific native species back in, looking to really drive up biodiversity and ultimately achieve biodiversity net gain across the construction of HS2. That will also enhance the environment for local communities once we're finished. Sometimes a railway can be seen as a barrier to wildlife, but we have 140 bridges and underpasses that cross HS2, and that includes 16 specifically designed green bridges there to support local habitat. There will always be concerns in the local community around the environmental impact of HS2, but the extensive programme we're putting in place around carbon and biodiversity will deliver a betterment on what we started with, with HS2 construction.

It's also about how we construct HS2 in a cleaner way. You may have seen outside here, there are a number of the cranes, 2 of the cranes out here are diesel free. There are only six diesel free cranes in the country. All six are working on HS2 sites. We've now achieved three construction sites that are completely diesel free and we're striving to deliver all diesel free construction sites by 2029. Diesel free is driven at the moment, or helped at the moment by some of the world crisis because the cost of fuel has gone up. And so the investment and the ability to shift the needle on carbon right now is there. There's an economic case as well as an environment and social case, but it also helps with the health and wellbeing agenda. We're reducing diesel emissions, we're reducing the impact on local communities as well. HS2 is committed to being carbon net zero in all construction by 2035. So we're having to invest heavily now in innovation and look at alternatives to steel and concrete that will enable us to achieve that ambitious agenda. Some of the innovative techniques we're using in construction will help us to build a more sustainable HS2 but will also be a legacy for infrastructure projects of the future.

It really is about building HS2 in the right way and about innovation and collaboration. So these are three of our stations. One of them, as I've mentioned, is right outside the door. But we are looking to cut carbon in design. So if you look at interchange, it's been awarded BREEAM outstanding for its design. That's the first railway station in the world and as demonstrated, it will be in the top 1% of eco-friendly buildings in the UK. 

Birmingham Curzon Street here will achieve net zero carbon emissions from day one of operations, so it's self-sustaining with the environmental systems installed. But we've also used a timber-based prefabricated soffit units for the roof which are 27 more times carbon efficient than the steel comparator. They're also cheaper. A lot of the case for environmental delivery is becoming cost effective. Innovative engineering in the design of Old Oak Common Station has allowed us to take much of the steel out of the roof again and that's took out 27% of the carbon that would have been used in a standard design. As I say, innovative solutions are ways of saving money as well as reducing embodied carbon and really making the case for some of these infrastructure projects for the future.

But safety of course is at the heart of everything we do and we can't settle for current industry best practice. I mean, I've touched on the scale of HS2. If you model the absolute best performance from Crossrail, ODA and other major projects like Tideway to the scale and volume of people and hours worked on our project, you would say it is inevitable we will experience three deaths just in the construction between London and Birmingham more than 700 non-fatal injuries and cause or worsen ill health in over 5,000 people. And that's not a legacy we're prepared to stand for. So we need to do things differently and we need to reset the construction and rail industry to change the inevitable. HS2 is set out to be the safest, ever mega project. We don't want to harm anyone during the construction or operation.

Safety really is at the heart of everything we do and that's looking at our workforce today and the future, is looking at our future passengers, but we also have a huge focus on the communities we work in and things such as setting new driving standards for delivery vehicles in rural context, in the same way the Olympics was able to do that within a London context. We're also needing to be innovative in the way we construct the railway. If you look at the impact of the pandemic, it's actually caused us to plan and design our sites differently. So we've had one way systems, different sequencing of work that have actually delivered betterment and safer working practises, you know, never waste a good crisis.

We've learned a lot through the pandemic in terms of how we can construct safely and keep going and some of those practices will continue even though we're back to normal working. I truly believe that everyone has the right to go home unharmed, but it can't just be a belief. We have to work with everybody in the supply chain and the industry to really make that a reality. And of course, we're charged with building a resilient railway for the future. HS2 is focusing now on safety by design. HS2 is preparing now for safe operations. I spend much of my time in the technical authority working with our integration authorities to look at things such as platform train interface. How will we dispatch, manage passenger movements in some of our intermediary stations where we've got to turn them around quite so quickly? Key lessons learned from Crossrail, we must allow sufficient time for systems integration to test and commission this railway and to assure safe operation. I think systems integration will continue to be the biggest risk to HS2 in delivering a safe operation, and it is where I spend most of my time.

We have to plan for our complexity, recognising the level of HS2 service, so the 18 trains an hour every three minutes with two minute dwell times. This drives a level of automation that has never been required before. If you look at platform edge as just one example, doors that will open and close quickly enough to enable you to meet your dwell times would also manage passenger safety. These sorts of systems will be first of type or applied differently. The level of complexity and automation means we will have 200 pieces of software to integrate and have work safely. So that takes a lot of thinking about now and we need to think as a railway and as a systems-orientated organisation, not a construction project, if all of the components of the railway are to come together. And I just wanted to take a moment here to reflect on what my experience has been of being regulated in this undertaking. Obviously I'm dual regulated at the moment. The HSE look at us from a construction perspective, but the ORR are very vested in this future railway and how it will work tomorrow. So we actually have a senior inspector from the ORR embedded in HS2 governance part-time attending things such as our systems review panel and he is part of making sure we're planning now for the authorisations.

We're clear on those risks, we're clear on how we're going to mitigate those risks and that we can evidence them. We're also together looking at the enormity of the volume that's required to get this into authorisation and trying to plan to do it progressively rather than have a cliff edge at the end of the programme and be ready for first operation. The ORR has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the HSE so that they can regulate us now under CDM on Safety by Design so we don't have dual regulation on some of those considerations and we facilitate that through a joint regulator forum which is working really well and helping us to be pragmatic and see it through both regulator eyes.

The HS2 railway will also need to be climate resilient and able to cope with some of the risks of the future such as increasing temperatures and increasing rainfall. We're already designing things in, such a sustainable drainage to dispense high volumes of water quickly without flooding local areas but we're also having to plan for other risks such as cybersecurity, future terror threats and the changing political landscape in which HS2 will operate as it will be a key piece of national infrastructure.

That was all I was going to say as a bit of an introduction to HS2 and how we fit with the conventional network and some of the challenges we face. We do have lots of sources of information for anybody who's interested in staying in touch and the team will also share these slides at the end. But thank you very much for listening and I'll hand back to ORR colleagues.

Errol Galloway – HM Principal Inspector of Railways Team Manager – L&D and RM3, ORR  

Morning everybody. Can you hear me okay? Excellent.

My name is Errol Galloway and I lead for various things, but in this context it's for RM3 within the ORR. So this is a very brief sort of canter through where we are and as it says there, really looking at how we move in the model for ORR, for yourselves and the general industry. Now there's an assumption here that we all understand what RM3 as a model is, but just a very brief recap. The model been around for over ten years now. It was actually designed in 2011 so it's been just over ten years. It was created initially by the regulator, by ourselves and it was actually a regulatory tool when we first actually envisaged it. So it was something that we used to try to pull a sort of common language and a common understanding of the safety management within ourselves and within the industry. It very quickly became a collaboration with the industry and clearly it was our intention to bring this forward so that not only could we as ORR use it, but as a tool for yourselves to measure your own sort of management maturity.

In terms of what's happened over those eleven years - well initially, with the reiterations of the model itself, we as ORR, in concert  with many of yourselves, certain colleagues here that I recognise from the work with the model. We delivered various briefings, in fact, the latest iteration was in 2019 when we actually launched the current model that you see and use yourselves now, we delivered many briefings around that. The model itself is pretty well established now, we certainly use it in all our work, not just a straightforward inspection stuff, but I'm sure you will see when you look at the annual report, it plays a central part within, actually our drawing of conclusions towards where the industry is and where we think it may need to improve.

Within the industry itself, again, we are very aware and work very closely with yourselves in terms of how you use it. We actually have an RM3 governance board now, some members of which are actually in attendance today, where we work together to see how we can practically develop the model more. What we have done is hopefully made it more accessible to all the industry partners. And actually, when I come on to discuss the e-learning package, the actual reach of the model has actually extended beyond the railway.

It used to be the Railway Management Maturity Model. It's actually the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3) now, if you look at the title. But having said that, you'll see on the e-learning that actually we have some input from various other industries, including DFDS, which is obviously maritime. So the e-learning package itself, it's hopefully intended to support the hard copy that we launched in 2019.

The main thing from our perspective was we're insistent that it was free to access for everybody. This is about us supporting each other, both as an industry and as a regulator working together and therefore to introduce a charge didn't seem to be the appropriate way to do it. So it's available and it's free to access. As I said, it's intended to supplement the hard copy manual, which again is free to access should you require one. You can either download it from our website or alternatively, we can post you out a hard copy. The main difference with the e-learning is that the whole intent of it was to make it come alive, to use a colloquialism . It's intended to be engaging in that it's actually an interactive model.

If you go on our website and have a look at it, you'll see that in the normal terms of e-learning, it does the normal things that you would expect, but there are various video clips in it in terms of the exercises that people can actually undertake during the e-learning. What was the reason for doing that? The reason for doing that is, again, the main focus is on accessibility. RM3 has often and sort of erroneously had an image of being for managers, senior managers and safety professionals, and to a greater extent, that's exactly what it is, but it's also intended for everybody. Now, we've just had Emma take us through a very interesting presentation in terms of the change that's going to come around from HS2, and it's those sorts of projects. And if you think about the wider GBR, etc, things that are on the horizon, there's going to be major change in the industry and those changes, to be adequately managed, need a certain level of maturity.

And that's where we see the RM3 can come in to help the various integrating duty holders to actually assess their maturity and actually planning safety at the earliest stage.

So it's intended to be a model for everyone. In terms of practicalities from our perspective as I said, we spend a lot of time with a minimum resource, delivering a lot of training, and I'm certain that within your own personal organisations, you will do the same thing. Hopefully, the e-learning that we've developed will help to alleviate that training burden both on yourselves and on us, in terms of people being able to, if you like, have at least that initial training and that initial understanding delivered by the e-learning, which they can do in their own time.

We were going to try and have a video here, but I decided that that was probably a step too far! This is just an example of how the learning is set up. It's set up in four modules - module one, which, as it says, is 'An introduction to RM3', which just initially takes people through what RM3 does. We're not going to dwell on that, but it's the very basic introduction for anyone who is not familiar with the model, and it takes them through what the intent of the model is and how you might use it.

Hopefully, at least visually, it's quite engaging and obviously, when you run it, it's more engaging again. Module 2 is split up into three areas -there's 'What is RM3', there's 'Using RM3' and 'Outputs from RM3'. This is, again, just an example of how it looks.

The text and the detail are pretty much based around what you actually see in the actual hard copy publication. But again, it's delivered in three modules so that your actual experience builds up as you use it. So, looking further ahead, what's essential for the model and for the e-learning itself? Well, as I said, we are literally at a monumental change in the industry and in terms of Great British Railways (GBR) and everything else, how that's going to look in the end, nobody really knows. That's all being developed, even as we speak now. But what's for certain is that there's going to be major change, and from a regulatory perspective, and certainly from a duty holder perspective, that means that we need to be in a position that we can prepare for that in terms of safety and many other considerations. But from our perspective, from my perspective, it's about safety.

As I said, in terms of how RM3 fits into that, it's our central model. We've tried to make it accessible to the industry as much as we can. So although we still work together with yourselves in various things, including, as mentioned, the work going on HS2 for yourselves and industry, there is the opportunity to upskill people because there will be clearly new roles popping up at all times over the next few years. And rather than considering this as something that's ringfenced around managers and professionals, you actually have the opportunity to upskill people quite quickly by putting them through the e-learning. So it's about meeting that challenge of change in a structured way, which hopefully RM3 will help you to do.

And ultimately it's called the Risk Management Maturity Model. It's about helping to embed maturity into the industry more than it has been already. I mean, I hope to just emphasise, we are quite clear that there has been a lot of improvement over the years and this is an opportunity to strengthen that as much as possible.

That was all that I wanted to say in terms of the model. As I said, it's something that I believe is quite familiar to all of yourselves. And this wasn't really an intention of teaching anybody about RM3, it was just talking about the principles and the potential opportunities. So if anyone's got any questions at this stage, I'm happy to answer them if possible. If not, I'll hand on. Okay. 

[Question from audience, inaudible]

On that point, I just should just reiterate that this was not an ORR piece of work. This was work that was done in collaboration with members of the governance board and industry representatives. So if you look at the video, you may have recognised that there are a few faces in this room that actually appear on the e-learning, but it was a properly collaborative effort.

So I'd just like to thank the people also that were involved from the industry, because it is a tool intended for yourselves as well as for us. So it was important to have that sort of collaboration there.

Question from audience: How long does it take to work through for a typical individual? 

Yeah, good question. It's actually broken down into modules to make it that bit more accessible again. So you can actually - each module is about 20 minutes, so if you were to work through the four, that would be an hour and 20 minutes.

So it's not a massive investment in your time. But as I said it is broken down into modules so that you can actually, if you needed to break it down even more than that, you could do the 20 minute module on the introduction and then sort of work on it and come back. At the end just for completeness, should you require it, there's a facility on there to print out a certificate just to demonstrate that you've done the e-learning. None of the information is kept by us or anything like that, but yes, so an hour and a half max. Okay, thank you very much.

Jen Ablitt – Deputy Director Safety Strategy, Policy and Planning, ORR

Thank you very much for that Errol. I do think we get so many requests for training out of RM3 and I do think having this e-learning tool really offers the potential for a step change in how we use it. I'm glad it is me next, because I wasn't sure when I stood up. 

So my name is Jen Ablitt, I'm a Deputy Director of Safety Strategy, Policy and Planning, and it's my pleasure to present to you our annual report. Can I just say how happy I am to be in Birmingham, being a Staffordshire girl myself. So welcome to Birmingham, everyone.

So the Annual Health and Safety report, we are very pleased to recognise again this year that Britain's mainline railways remain one of the safest in Europe. And that doesn't come by accident. That is the hard work, commitment and passion of lots of you in the room and many more people not in this room, out there every day, making the railway safe. But, of course, there's always more to do. It's a dynamic thing, keeping the railway safe. Over the past, over the reporting year, there were, unfortunately, a number of serious accidents and near misses.

I'm only going to mention the October Fisherton Tunnel derailment, that, of course, could have been far worse, and it is important that we hold these accidents close and work to understand them and improve them. As Ian alluded to, we're in a very particular time for the railway going forwards, post the pandemic. We need to ensure that there is a strengthening of safety management capability as people, passengers and goods return to the railway. And we note in various different areas, it's something I know the RSSB drew out in their report last week, there are some observable changes in public behaviour. Even if we don't quite understand what's driving that, we have to recognise that that's happening and respond to it. It is a little bit too soon to draw conclusions, but there do seem to be some emerging trends in the non-mainline sectors, particularly looking at tramways and possibly even LUL, as I say, too soon to really understand what's driving that but we need to be vigilant and of course, there is enormous challenge and change on the horizon. So I'm going to say a little bit more about the key thing. 

Ian has already mentioned them, but I just wanted to go into them a little bit more. So, managing the legacy impacts of the pandemic, that's a bit of looking back, but also a lot of looking forward. Ian mentioned that we need to strengthen competency management, training and assessment and frontline assurance. The railway responded in a very agile way to incredibly challenging times during the lockdown restrictions. But that did mean that some of this really good basic hygiene, health and safety management suffered and so we need to make sure that we're on the front foot with that.

Organisational communication, this is, of course, important at any time, but particularly when stuff is changing and people are maybe worrying about that and feeling a little bit unsettled, and I'm going to push it at every opportunity, that one of the many benefits of RM3 is it creates a common language, a common way to express these safety management organisational changes. And I think we are working hard, for example, to bring the trade union staff reps groups into understanding RM3 and using it as a basis for those really good conversations.

But also, there are some positives of the pandemic and it's important that, as Emma suggested, that we hang onto those. Performance improved, it's sort of perhaps easier to do when there are fewer people on the railway, but we need to try to hang on to that, because, as we all understand, poor performance, of course, has an impact on health and safety as well. There was less crowding and there was a cleaner railway, which the public and passengers really appreciate.

So, managing change, lots of change coming. We really want to underline the importance of Safety by Design. Again, something that we heard about that HS2 of course is really embracing, but the change coming is about designing the change, but also managing the transition to that change.

So we at ORR are working hard to understand how we can help, what our role should be, where we should be, where we shouldn't be, to offer some guidance and oversight. We want to be clear and set out what we expect from duty holders. Amongst the big industry change, there are individual duty holders who are delivering the railway today and will have to deliver the railway tomorrow. So being clear about what we expect there and the day job, quite frankly, unfortunately, we don't have the opportunity to just shut everything for two weeks while we change.

There's all of this really important stuff that has to happen every day. And as we have learned from history, big change sometimes does draw attention from the really important day to day work. Supporting people is a consistent theme from ORR and we make no apologies for that. The railway is made up of people in the end, doing things right every day. I just draw out a couple of points there that we want to bring into that theme. The mainline railway has pulled together and initiated a pilot to collect health data. It's really difficult to get reporting schemes off the ground because it's quite cultural. Organisations expose themselves to a bit of risk there, collecting this kind of data, and it does cost time and money, management time and money, to get these things going. But without that understanding of how well we are managing health, there's no real hope of improving outcomes. So we have really supported that programme and we continue to do so and encourage other railway organisations to get involved. Human factors, again, we're talking a lot about Safety by Design, both in terms of introducing new technology, but also organisational change management, job design and workflow planning.

It's really important to get the right skills involved at the right point. It's so expensive to leave it to the end to understand what you should have done at the beginning. So get what you need in early and recognise that that's part of building your change.

And finally implementing technology effectively. We've listed a few areas where the railway is currently introducing technology to help manage these particular risks, weather prediction, earthworks management, work protection, level crossing protection and traction power control. The potential, the benefits on offer, both in terms of safety, risk management, but also performance and efficiency, but it's so important to introduce this stuff properly.

Designing out risk, human factors again, but also working with your people, working with the people who are going to be affected and going to use this technology - so important.

So those are the themes. I'm just going to talk a little bit about a few of the actual workstreams. There's obviously much more detail set out in the report. The mainline railway, a lot of our focus at the moment, as I'm sure everyone can understand, is on earthworks and drainage management. There's a lot of different reports and findings coming out of Carmont, but we have been working with Network Rail even before that accident, understanding the risks and the art of what's possible in managing those risks and taking the asset forward.

Still much more to do there and it is very much a whole Network Rail endeavour. So, as Ian said, we're pleased to say there's a good story to tell on track worker safety, for sure. Some really positive numbers. There 98% reduction in lookout working and track worker related near misses has fallen by 70%. That is a really positive story. Of course, the incidents and accidents continue, so it is not job done, unfortunately, and probably will never be.

Management of rolling stock. That's some work we did, both with passenger operators and the freight community. I think it's sort of an area where there is much more to understand and much more to do. It's incredibly complicated. There are some commercial aspects in getting this right and we mentioned their safety validation and assurance through the supply chain that we're talking about managing risks across organisational boundaries. It's hard stuff, and in particular some work on managing change around software projects. That is part of a two-year programme, so we've completed one year of it and there's more to go next year. There was a focus on stations and platforms. Emma talked about understanding the train dispatch and platform train interface risks, as well as our frontline inspection.

Part of the way we drive improvement is engaging with industry groups who are also trying to manage these risks and encourage the industry to really use the products and tools and guidance that is produced there. And also SPADs, our focus there is around the role of the driver manager  to make sure they have the right competency and capability. And that investigation of SPADs goes a little bit further beyond driver error to understand what is the system risk driving that. Trams, this year we published a review of the new Light Rail Safety and Standards Board and determined that it is adding value and helped to secure some longer term funding for that body so that it can really get stuck into the good work it's doing. Very long running painstaking investigation has allowed us to commence proceedings around the Sandilands accident and we are doing some policy work just to understand some comparators of the risk profile of operating trams. They are not a mainline railway, they operate in a very different environment and we want to really get to the bottom of that to understand if the framework we're using and the comparator is appropriate.

So heritage is entirely commercial sector and had a very difficult lockdown and so we are supporting the industry to reopen safely. London Underground, huge improvement and modernisation programme going on in London Underground and just, we are supporting them. And again, I mentioned human factors around the design of that change. We also did some very targeted specific work on their asset management policies and the policy and strategy teams, the division that I lead, we developed RM3 e-learning, some new guidance on level crossings just to try to make it simpler and more straightforward to make the safety improvements that we all want to see. And just a huge amount of commissioning work, never really gets to see the sunlight in terms of being publicised, but it's a really important part of what we do. So I include this last slide, not to go through all the details, but just to say that of course we are all about collaborating with the industry to achieve excellence in health and safety management and we make no apology for shooting for the stars on that. But an important, core part of what we do is holding the industry to account for compliance with the law, and that work is intensive and it's detailed, but we're proud of what we achieve here. Thank you very much.

Q&A Panel members

Hosted by Richard Hines – HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Railways, Railway Safety Directorate, ORR 
Paul Appleton – HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Railways, Railway Safety Directorate, ORR
Jen Ablitt – Deputy Director Safety Strategy, Policy and Planning, ORR
Emma Head – Technical Services Delivery Director, HS2 Ltd

Okay, right, thank you very much Jen, for that. Morning everybody. This is my first annual Health and Safety report launch event. I'm Richard Hines, Deputy Chief Inspector here at ORR, and I joined back in December. I look after the non-mainline sectors, which is the heritage sector, trams, TfL, High Speed One, the Channel Tunnel and I've got Safety by Design in my team also, and I'm particularly grateful to Mr. Prosser for the opportunity, I think, to share the Q&A this morning.

Ian has given me two objectives in doing this. I think firstly, just to sort of have a sort of broad range of questions from different sectors that are represented here today would be really good, and equally importantly, to make sure we finish on 10 o'clock, as I appreciate everybody is busy. We've heard from Emma and Jen. I'm not sure Paul needs a huge amount of introduction, but Paul, did you just want to say a few words?

Paul Appleton, so I look after the mainline sector. So Network Rail, all the TOCs, freight, contractors, everything else that happens on the mainline.

Okay. Thanks very much, Paul. So we've got a good amount of time available to this. All I'd ask is, when you ask questions, if you could just introduce yourself and say which organisation you represent, that'd be really helpful for colleagues joining us online also and listening into this. So the floor is open, really, in terms of questions. Who would like to make a start? Mr Spence, please. There's a mic coming around to you from Jane.

Thank you, Richard. I guess I wanted to ask Jen, you made the point in your presentation on the overall report about the huge success that has been achieved in track worker safety. Part of that has come from financial input, of course, but it's my view that that's happened because of an outstanding example of leadership and a very, very successful programme. And I wonder if you've got any ideas how we could harness that and use that for some of the other ways in which we need to continue to change the railway.

Yes. You will know that we are pushing Network Rail to emulate that approach for the Earthworks and Drainage Management programme. Network Rail is a big beast and we sometimes observe a lot of commitment and intention from the centre and then the difficulty comes bringing that out to the various different regions and the huge numbers of people working for Network Rail. But you've shown you can do it on track worker safety - is that what you would ..?

Almost, Jen but actually, if I use the term we, it's because I think of myself as part of the industry rather than just Network Rail. So I was rather thinking we're going to be facing some huge challenges as the whole industry changes.

Alan, you're asking the question, I think, about track worker safety and the sort of fine leadership example that has been adopted with regard to driving forward some quite significant improvements. And your question was effectively, how can we bottle that as an industry? What are the things that underpin that? What's ORR's perspective on that? Does that encapsulate your question Alan?

And where else we can use it given the scale of things that will need to change or do need to change in other parts of our industry. 

That's brilliant. Thank you. So I think you're about to hand over to Paul, Jen. 

Yeah. Okay. So we have been asked by Department for Transport (DfT) to take a look at the sector level of assurance for the change that the whole industry is about to go through, or is going through at the moment. So I suppose each of the individual organisations be they Network Rail morphing into GBR, there is a statutory framework that already exists. You're going to go through CSMRA and all of that and each of the individual organisations, if you are making significant change, that's what you're going to do. And we will use our normal processes to come and have a look at it and oversee it. But there is no statutory system in place to look at the big system. There is no equivalent for changing that because nobody to be blunt  thought about it or how they might do it, but DfT quite rightly, have gone - we need some assurance around it.

So in particular, the project manager or project director inside DfT comes from an MoD background and if any of you have read the Nimrod report, I think it flows through his blood to be honest, I've had quite an interesting conversation with him and it was all about, well no no, we always do things safely, it's fine, we'll just carry on, but actually, it's change, change, change, change - how did we get here?

And so that's why he sort of approached Ian and I caught the ball  in terms of leading that particular piece of work. Now we are literally just starting. I've had that initial conversation with the DfT. We've involved the RSSB and the DfT have rehired Simon French ex of our friends in the RAIB. So he will be a point man inside of DfT for looking at that. But actually, we're going to be using RSSB to try and look at some of the big hazards. And what I'm interested in is where the interfaces change between organisations. That's the bit that worries me, because the world will look differently in three years' time. And having spoken to Ian Skinner, one of my senior inspectors, who's on secondment to GBRTT at the moment, what GBR will look like in two or three years later - 2026, 2027, that's a real - we don't know yet.

2024, it will be Network Rail with a new name and a franchising bit. But that brings a very different set of responsibilities to that organisation it never had before. They were once done inside of the DfT and I think there are some real changes going to happen and exactly understanding what the changes will be and what that effect will have on safety, I'm not sure I understand, let alone anybody else at the moment.

So I see this as a piece of work that we're going to be doing, well at least over the next 18 months, two years, and it will probably continue onwards. So I suspect my focus is going to be even more on this particular topic. But it's going to take leadership and engagement from everybody in the industry, about how do we manage those changes and actually spot where they are. I know everybody doesn't intend to break safety, but as the Haddon-Cave report into the Nimrod crash in Afghanistan, if you make lots of little changes over a long period of time, they can end up with things that you didn't intend and that's the work we need to do. So exactly how we're going to do that I don't know, but we need to sit down, I need to bring industry together to work through all of that and think about how we actually do it.

I see myself as a facilitator rather than a doer, because, to be honest, I'm not there, I don't understand what changes you're going to go through, but I think we need to work together so we can make sure we can do this safely.

You've got some ideas though, haven't you Alan? That's why you've asked the question.

But I do think that in addition, there are some other things that we shouldn't be tolerating that happen today and there may be some lessons we could take with a little bit of deep frozen or bottled Nick Millington, and that was my point, but should perhaps allow the debate to move on to other things.

If I could just say as well, I'm coming to this relatively fresh, as I said at the start, and obviously it's been a whole journey here in terms of that work, but I think what's really obvious is the visibility that that individual's had through that work, the Safety Task Force approach, and how it's been really compelling in terms of shifting people's perceptions. And I see that from the very brief time I've been here. So I think you're right, there are some really valuable qualities and approaches there that we could use for other areas, including non-mainline sector, also actually in terms of the particular approaches. So I agree with that and I think colleagues recognise that also. And I know Ian Prosser has also given that endorsement very publicly Alan, so thank you for raising that. 

Hi, it's Anthony at LNER. I think it probably supplements Alan's point a little bit, but probably moves it a bit on slightly, but noting Emma's presentation earlier, I think that was really useful. And we've got some big changes coming up with Digital Railway and you were talking about system integration and things that you are going through right now, who is, I suppose, being the focal point for sharing that learning? Is it RSSB? Is it ORR? Because as an industry, I think we're great at talking about where we've gone wrong, but who is taking that lead in terms of putting the case study together that Alan has just talked about and sharing that with industry so we can all learn really proactively.

How much does HS2 share and collaborate? And where's the point where HS2 has a forum to get engaged with the mainline industry?

An awful lot of our collaboration and sharing at the moment is in the construction sector because obviously we're looking at best practice around building. We do have aspirations and other agreements in place directly with Network Rail. There are dedicated teams within Network Rail who work with us on these specific interface risks. So Handsacre Junction, for example, where we've transition networks, that's being planned for and designed now. But I think that's quite piecemeal, it's on a risk by risk basis rather than a more holistic approach. HS2 is a member of RSSB as the other infrastructure managers. So we do use that for some of the sharing and influencing standards to make sure they'll work on both networks. So I was talking to the rolling stock lead at RSSB last week about how the new standards coming out will work for our fleet, working on our captive network and on the conventional network. So I think our RSSB has more of a role to play there, potentially, but in terms of some of the really innovative stuff so we're doing digital twin, for example, and we're looking at systems integration risk or a digital lens, I don't think there is any of that going on in terms of collaboration sharing so I think there's an opportunity.

I think I would look at ORR or RSSB to do that and be the focal point. If you look at ORR as a regulator, they have enforcement obligations, obviously, but regulation in my mind is about standardisation as well, so you get to see everything. So why not be that focal point to bring us all together around best practice as well as the weaknesses?

Yeah, I agree. A regulator should have a pallet . It's not just about and that's why I put the compliance enforcement stuff at the back. It's one of the things we do. But yeah, let's talk and what is it specifically we can do there?

Thank you, that's an excellent point. I think there was another question just in here was the perhaps? Move on, ok. 

Okay, I absolutely agree with Anthony's point, especially about your sustainability and your net carbon. RSSB are currently in consultation on the sustainability and I'd just be interested to know how much has HS2 really drove that. Because the vision you just presented is absolutely the vision for the industry. And it would be great to make sure that you're hooked into that and we can learn and grow together as anindustry because it was really exciting.

Yeah, I mean, the first thing I'll say, we're probably leading in this area, but that's for a reason. We're spending an awful lot of taxpayer money on a new railway. If we weren't investing in carbon reduction technologies, carbon reduced products, who's going to? It's much harder for other people to start that journey. So I think our environment sustainability vision is quite ambitious. 2035, zero carbon in construction, hugely ambitious. I'm not expecting every other sector of DfT, Highways etc, to sign up to that level of ambition. But in terms of sharing, just to assure you I actually sit on the RSSB board with a separate hat and I'm making sure that we're supporting George  in the consultation and we can feed in some of our innovation or some of our lessons learned so that they can be accessed at a much lower price point to other parts of the industry. Absolutely.

Sorry, my point before that, it was the leadership piece, so I absolutely agree with you. I think it's been really successful, but I think it is about the person and the leadership qualities. It's been so important with that. I suppose it's a question for us as an industry and how ORR can support is, how do we nurture the talent? We've got safety professionals. Safety traditionally has always been something that we've struggled to attract that talent to, and is there anything that we can do collectively to make sure that during this period of change we've got the right people with the right experience, the right skillset we need to navigate ourselves through it?

I was quite encouraged listening to Chris Whitehorn's presentation, the lead at DfT that Paul was just talking about. A big part of the DfT's programme is about skills, people, competencies. And I think the other really important point that was made was that the modernisation agenda will mean that some people leave and other people move jobs and moving jobs, there's also a period of upskilling required there and we need to focus on that. If it's a lot of people moving, there'll be a lot of people who haven't got the skills for the job they now find themselves in.

Thanks very much. I think Steve Oates, Chief Executive of the Heritage Railway Association at the back, has a question. Morning, Steve.

Thank you. Good morning, Richard. I think you know what's coming next, but just hearing the words over there, regulation is about standardisation and lots of the conversation has been about the RSSB and has referred to that and so on. And Jen, in your presentation you mentioned the LRSSB. Both of those bodies, as my understanding goes, were set up following major incidents, major disasters.

Four years ago, Ian Prosser, Ian Skinner said to the heritage sector, which in fairness does not have the best safety record, and I've been reading in here and I'm not terribly impressed with what I'm reading, but we've made a real effort to improve safety and operational standards. We're an important part of the visitor economy we're part of the railway network albeit a very small part. And four years ago, the two Ians said, actually, before you have a major incident, you need to set up a Safety and Standards Board. And that's what we've done. We scoped it, we've done the business plan. 

So what can ORR and maybe assembled people do to help this small but very important part of the railway industry to get a Heritage Rail Safety and Standards Board. It is needed for all the reasons that RSSB and LRSSB exist. And we're in a bit of a sort of state of flux at the moment. We have a very good Operating and Safety Committee, but we need a Safety and Standards Board specifically for heritage.

Yeah, thanks very much, Steve. I can make a start with that, if that's okay. And then, Jen, you want to supplement, feel free. And I think, Steve, we've had sort of conversations in recent weeks about this and you mentioned the sort of case has been for the sort of response has been given. I don't think it's right to necessarily dig into the detail of that here today. And of course, we're together next week, aren't we, to talk about how ORR can try and support and kind of assist you in moving forward with that quite right ambition to achieve some standardisation, some clear leadership and a body that has credibility amongst your members to sort of drive that forward. And I think what I would say from ORR's perspective is, and I think it's reflected in the report, Steve, we are firmly behind the ambition and fully supportive of that sort of body being created to deliver that function. I think we've got a supporting role here to assist, to make the connections, to help shape and kind of direct you. But of course, that sort of responsibility, if you like, fits with the HRN and the sector.

We're fully behind you with that and we'll do some more work with you over the next coming weeks to sort of help and move it on. So please be assured that you have ORR's support with regards to that ambition and we do see the absolutely compelling need to have that competent, credible body that exists. I don't know Jen if you want to add anything to that about what I've said.

I don't think so.

Yeah. Does that deal with it, Steve, or is there anything further that you'd like to explore? Feel free.

In fairness, I wasn't expecting too much more because, as you say, I know we have a meeting next week, but it's just really interesting hearing the conversation. A lot of this has been about RSSB and Jen, as I said, you mentioned additional funding for LRSSB, and I know we're a small but perfectly formed part of the sector, but it's wanting a fair playing field, actually, for a sector that also receives no national subsidy. We're purely commercial, we're part of the visitor economy, but we're also very firmly a transport under taker regulated by ourselves and therefore coming under DfT for all the same reasons. But we'll talk some more. Thank you.

Yeah, thanks, Steve. If I could just sort of add my thanks to the support that you've given to your members through what has been a very difficult period through the pandemic and the recovery. And I think whilst you've referred to some issues and some sort of features of the risk profile that appear in the report actually,  from what I've seen there's a really dedicated group of volunteers right across the country that want to do the right thing and this is about enabling them to deliver that. That's what I see here. I hope that's helpful. Thank you, Steve.

Okay, other questions. We've got some time left. Plenty of time, in fact, anymore - Vin .

I'm going to ask my own colleagues a question, just to be tricky. I'll start with Emma, actually. So it's fascinating. Thank you very much Emma. I was really struck by your tone of embracing change, particularly when you talked about community and customer service, so looking at ORR myself as well, what are you looking for us in terms of how we embrace change? So we quite often talk about managing change and getting ready for change, but I don't know if we culturally yet embrace change. Do you expect more or do you think we could do more?

We do expect more and I talked about it actually in the brief interlude outside. But the idea that we can commission this railway HS2 at the end is just ridiculous. This has to be a progressive undertaking and it has to be a partnership because there are some trade off decisions that will need to be made between different parts of the system for the whole to come together and for an inspector to come in at the end and just go. 

Oh I don't like that trade off without understanding and embracing all of the decisions and the complexity that's got there and then becoming a potential blocker to meeting opening would just be ridiculous. We're all part of the government family, we're all part of the same funded envelope. So the idea for me, the regulator needs to be far more active and embedded and embracing of the risk management techniques we're using and of understanding we've made best practice decisions and therefore supporting us to navigate the evidencing of that in a progressive manner, not to be a policeman at the end.

Thank you. Just follow the  question. So you mentioned the work you're doing on construction.

Can I add something to you? Yes. So I agree with a lot of what you said, Emma, and we are currently having a critical look at those permissioning processes for projects, working out which bits of it add value. And I know there's a lot of external criticism of the parts of the process that are perceived not to add value and just to add costs. So we are looking at that. I would say the regulator needs to walk the line between staying outside of safety management decisions that rightly sit with the duty holder and with the organisations.

And sometimes that means we have to maintain a little bit of distance even through the project, because we have to be unfettered in that decision, given to us by the law at the end of it. But having said that, we are currently piloting a way of going about these authorising major projects that introduces breaking the decision down, because we entirely recognise it doesn't serve anyone's purposes to end up in a big tangle at the end, because actually we don't have that much room to say no at the 11th hour either.

Thank you. You talked about construction, so I worked in highways for a number of years. Are you actively looking at what you're doing with construction and safety there and bringing that into your thinking with rail and with us as well?

Oh, gosh.  What I would say in terms of the construction sector is getting much better at sharing learning. Because we're such a national undertaking and we divert so many roads for example, we are actively in contract and work with National Highways in the same way we're working with Network Rail about our interfaces, et cetera.

But in looking at the major projects, Tideway, Crossrail, all those that have gone before, Olympics, definitely, there's a journey, I think, of taking the legacy and the learning from them, building upon it and going to the next, and that's incumbent on any major project. And it's interesting because we're trying to scale up a lot of those learnings to a geography that's not delivered that sort of thing before consistently, so our learning is the next step on that.

We're definitely trying to share best practice. And are we trying to transfer to the rail sector? I think what I would say slightly the other way, which is actually we need to stop thinking quite so much like a construction project and think now like a complex system and how all of the components will come together to deliver a safe railway.

So I'm not trying to take the learning from construction, I'm actually trying to stop us being quite so construction-centric early.


Thanks, Emma and Jen. That's good. I think we've got time for at least one more question, given we had a short break halfway through. I'm just wondering train operating company colleagues or tram sector represented in the room? Any questions or thoughts from colleagues? Carl Williams? 

Carl Williams, Chief Executive Officer at LRSSB. Thank you for your comments earlier and I've really enjoyed the HS2 update coming from a completely different arena. But the last question was an interesting one for us because obviously when ROTS disappeared and ROGS became a thing, we found ourselves as a sector really just blowing in the wind and we come back to the standardised approach rather than... I take a real issue sometimes when people say light rail has no standards, we have a plethora of standards, we're just not very standardised. Seven systems being built to all different standards.

And we do work closely with our good friends at the ORR. But I think the guidance that you're seeking on HS2 would be so well received in some of the light rail schemes that have been extended because we do tend to come to a full stop at the end because we have to do all our own SV and the ICP thing. Which we're learning as we go and we try and bring the inspector in towards the end. But the journey, to have the inspector on the journey is such a big benefit to light rail schemes because we do tend to learn as we go a little bit in the light rail sector because we haven't got notified bodies. We haven't got the standard processes that heavy rail has got.

But the new team that Richard has gotten, we are working closely on that but we have suffered as a sector I have to say. Since ROTS finished and ROGS began we drifted in the wind for quite a while. That's probably ended up why I'm here now today in this role, trying to make sure we get back on track, so to speak, but worked closely with the guys at the ORR on that. So that was all I wanted to say thanks.

No, thanks, Carl. I think we do have a really good relationship, don't we? We of course, sit as an observer on the LRSSB board and as Jen referred to the sort of temperature check that we did kind of validated the approach, the value, the credibility and that sort of standardisation that's really important. So thank you for your and your colleagues’ work.

And getting on a straight line, because the seven systems that have been constructed, they've been done this, rather than do this. Thank you.

Thanks, Carl.

Jen. Yeah. Interesting to hear you give your experience. It's a big step from ROTS world to ROGS world. I was for a period of time, working at the European Railway Agency and the railways in other member states, people overuse the word culture, but assuming that safety, management, responsibility, they're your risk, get on with it. It's scary. It's a bit of a step. I do get that. What I think is interesting and of course we need to support understanding of the regulations and what more we can do there.

But what I think is really interesting is the opportunity for railways to learn from railways. And I use railways in the broadest term. Emma talked a bit about what they're doing with Crossrail and where there are other organisations that have been through rolling stock purchase projects and all the rest of it that could, you know, I know you're asking them to lend time and resource they don't have, but I think that's a very powerful source of guidance sometimes.

Yeah, absolutely. Just to bring on that, we've commenced forums now with RSSB and with Network Rail to see how we can collaborate and learn from heavy as well. Tram training is probably the short to midterm thing for the light rail sector so we need to learn from that as well as LRSSB. 

And I hope they're willing to learn from you, because it's all just different experience, isn't it?

Okay, right, time for one more question. Just to get maximum value for money in Birmingham. One more question. Somebody? Anybody? No? Okay. Alan.

The character people will know, I'm going to be a bit challenging, Jen, at your reference about, your reference to the regulator standing that little bit distant, and I understand the point that the regulator has to be able to hold people to account where it's necessary, but I think equally there are some lessons of the past where the regulator can effect huge change for the good by putting the notice pad away and actually rolling up the sleeves and being part of the solution. I think back to the disgraceful position an organisation got itself into with regarding not reporting accidents and the culture change that was started not by prosecution, but by working with the organisation. So I think here there may be an opportunity for ORR just to rethink how it can best bring about change. And that's not always about enforcement.

Yeah, sorry, I give two examples of that. One is an example, one is an intention. I think I spoke a little bit about RSSB's project to collect health data and it's probably no coincidence that you're referring to a reporting problem and this is a reporting scheme because it takes a lot of commitment and faith to get going with that, because you are airing your dirty washing. And we there, with some good working with the Department for Transport, tried to give the right tone of support and, as you say, just sort of resting the hand away from the notice book just to try and create that space.

And the other thing I want to say, and it also fits into Jen's point, is that we are working with other health and safety regulators to explore how we are set up to embrace innovation, both in the sectors we regulate, but ourselves as well. And I had a really interesting challenge, because we're also a joint economic regulator, regulating performance, do we create space to try something new where that entails a risk of failure? And it's very hard to do that in a safety space, but on a performance, I thought it was a really interesting challenge that sometimes if we want to encourage innovation, adoption of new technology, that we may have to work out our tolerance for that going, not succeeding at the first post.

Paul, do you want to quickly supplement? Yeah.

Enforcement is always one of the tools that we have and sometimes we end up with a position where you have no choice but to take enforcement. But actually, if you go look at the numbers compared to the number of inspectors we've gotten, amount of time we spend, it's actually a really small proportion of the time, what we do.

The vast majority of what we do is about influencing, persuasion and just having a good conversation with people. Have you considered going to them over there, they're doing some really good work, I think they could help you solve that problem over there. And it's about trying to provide those connections and a different way of looking at things. And that's a really big part of what we as inspectors are trying to do and achieve. No, we don't always get it right, I know that, but that's certainly our aim, is to drive up the overall excellence of health and safety management across the entire industry. And enforcement is just one of the many tools that we've got and use and certainly that comes back to the sector level assurance work.

There will be no enforcement in that, that will all be about working together as an industry to try and spot where those changes are going to happen inside of or between organisations, where is the communications route is going to change, where are the things going to shift? So GBR is looking at taking on all of the asset management at the stations from all the train operating companies over years. Okay, well, that's shifting where that interface is going to be from where it is at the moment. So what effects that going to have? How is that going to work?

I can think of all sorts of examples of where we found bits of kit on stations for example, and I can think of one in particular where something hadn't been looked at for 20 years because each party thought somebody else was looking after it. I hope in the future we won't have that because I know who's going to be responsible for it and it's going to be GBR. So in some ways, this change will be a push to make things simpler, but it's identifying where those changes are going to be.

And yeah, absolutely, I want to work with the industry. That's why we spend quite so much time in RSSB and sitting in your offices, sitting down and talking and working with you all and that high level type activity, as well as the front level going into the depots and doing inspection of whatever it might be.

Thanks, Paul. I fully endorse that. And you're right, Alan, enforcement is a pretty blunt instrument. You can never achieve minimum legal compliance by its very nature, as you will absolutely appreciate. And you're right, it's how we can add impact and really sort of collaborate to improve. So I fully endorse that point. Right, okay, in danger of missing my second objective that Ian set me in terms of finishing on time, notwithstanding the short break, I found this morning really useful, great to have a networking session, presentations I hope were useful and of the panel session as well also.

I think just to quickly reflect on what we've discussed today, I'll come back to what Ian said because I want to finish with that by way of introduction. But, Emma, I think it was great to hear about High Speed Two. I mean, the scale and the challenge of that is absolutely incredible. I think the sustainability arm to that is fundamental and front and centre. And the point you made around projections and the fact that if you follow the sort of history could lead to three fatalities, multiple injuries and people going away less healthy than they perhaps turned up is a really stark reminder of the fact that we need to drive improvement collectively and particularly with the work that you're doing. So I found that really useful.

I thought Errol's session on RM3 was good to hear that and sort of say, for an hour's worth of investment from colleagues, there's an opportunity to be engaged by that and hopefully use that more widely and drive that forward. So thank you Errol for that. And I think also, Jen, for your sort of canter through the report, you've got copies on the table to obviously review at your leisure.

And I think we would really value feedback with regards to the report, with regard to the events, and with regard to anything that we can do to help improve on these type of forums. We really welcome that. And please channel through Jen, in the first instance, we'll make the slides available. Yeah, I will do, that's a good reminder, Jen, there you go.

And then just to say thank you for presenters, particularly Emma, our external speaker, coming and giving your time, we found that really valuable. You've had feedback from colleagues in the room, so thank you.

Also to ORR colleagues that helped contribute not only to the presentations, but putting together the whole report today and I think equally, and probably most importantly to you for attending, you're all very busy individuals and we really value the time that you've given to come and spend time with us this morning. So thank you. So I'm just going to close on Ian's four themes that he mentioned. So he talked a bit about managing the legacy of the impacts of the pandemic and driving forward, but really managing change effectively and bringing people along with us.

He talked about supporting people both in terms of their physical health, but also mentally as well. That's a really important feature that is flagged within the report. And then I think this sort of challenge around how we implement technology effectively going forward, and I'm sure these things that will reflect on in a year's time when we hold the next one of these events at another location. So I'll just leave you those four pillars. Thank you, everyone, for your contribution this morning. Enjoy the rest of your day and I look forward to seeing you all soon. Thank you.