Annual health and safety report

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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.

14 July 2020

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today published its Annual Report on Health and Safety 2019/20, which 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.

The report shows that exceptional weather conditions continue to adversely affect safety performance and the number of earthwork failures and trains striking objects – such as trees – increased almost four fold compared to last year. However, there has been important progress in level crossing safety with a repeat of last year's lowest-ever number of level crossing fatalities (two).

Sadly four railway workers lost their lives in 2019/20 which further emphasised the high-risk environment in which many railway staff are required to work. We issued two Improvement Notices on Network Rail in July 2019 which are designed to eliminate planned work taking place on railway lines that are open to traffic where the only protection is a lookout.

Health and safety report 2014-15 infographic