- Press notices
ORR marks 30 years of health and safety advice from the Railway Industry Advisory Committee
15 May 2008
The Office of Rail Regulation’s (ORR’s) Railway Industry Advisory Committee (RIAC) has marked the 30th anniversary of its foundation by looking forward to the challenges it may face in the next 30 years.
The milestone was formally marked at RIAC’s 13 May meeting, which included presentations on past successes and future challenges. Aidan Nelson, the Rail Safety and Standards Board’s former representative on RIAC, reviewed the key issues the Committee has dealt with, and reflected on the safety improvements achieved by the rail industry over the past 30 years. Meanwhile the Department for Transport’s Tony Mercado highlighted the potential health and safety implications of the changes the railway industry is likely to face in the next 30 years.
RIAC has considered a wide range of health and safety issues since being set up by the Health and Safety Commission in 1978. In the early years, areas of interest included manual handling and plans for the Channel Tunnel. More recently RIAC has sought to identify the best approach to automatic train protection, and has also helped improve track worker safety.
RIAC’s Working Groups have produced a range of well-regarded guidance publications, which can now be accessed via the ORR website (http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.1174).
Commenting on RIAC’s 30th anniversary, ORR Non-Executive Director and RIAC Chair Jim O’Sullivan said: “The railway industry in this country has experienced immense change and many challenges over the past 30 years. In that time, RIAC has made a significant, positive contribution by providing a forum where employers, trade unions, passenger groups and Government can come together to discuss health and safety issues and advise the industry regulator.
“Looking to the future, the Committee will continue to have an important role to play providing industry views to the ORR Board to better inform its decisions on health and safety regulation, for the benefit of passengers, workers and other users and funders of the railway.”
Notes to editors
- The Railway Industry Advisory Committee (RIAC) was established in 1978 by the Health and Safety Commission. When responsibility for railway health and safety transferred from HSE to ORR in 2006, ORR decided to continue with RIAC as it plays an important role in providing a strategic forum for railway industry stakeholders.
- RIAC provides advice to ORR on railway safety, exchanges information, comments on proposed new regulations and guidance and works to progress health and safety issues and other related developments within the industry.
- The meeting on Tuesday 13 May 2008 was the 78th meeting of the Committee since its establishment by HSE, and the 7th since it transferred to ORR in 2006. It took place at ORR’s London headquarters at One Kemble Street.
- RIAC currently meets three or four times a year. RIAC has wide representation and includes representatives of employers, employees, passengers, and government bodies. The current membership of RIAC can be found at: (http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.1174).
- RIAC is currently chaired by one of the ORR Board’s Non Executive Directors, Jim O'Sullivan. Jim also Chairs ORR’s Safety Regulation Committee. Jim is Infrastructure Services Director at Central Networks, part of the Eon group.
- Jim O’Sullivan is available for interview to comment on the work of RIAC. A photograph of the Committee marking its 30th anniversary is available on request.
ORR Press Office – 020 7282 2188/2007