Community of Metros News: 2016 Safety Culture Expert Workshop in Sunderland, UK

In June 2016 the Community of Metros held an expert workshop on safety culture. The workshop was hosted by Nexus (owner of the Tyne and Wear Metro system) and held jointly with sister benchmarking group ISBeRG, the International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group. Safety experts from 17 organisations – 5 CoMET metros, 7 Nova metros, and 5 ISBeRG railways – attended.

The workshop was held at a unique venue – the Stadium of Light, home to Sunderland A.F.C. and near the metro station of the same name and was recorded in the local press. The workshop was sponsored by the Nova group in conjunction with its 2016 benchmarking research study on Improving Safety Culture and followed a similar ISBeRG study in 2014. Both studies aimed to better understand safety culture and identify how metros and railways have established and improved safety culture.

Over the course of the two-day workshop experts shared experiences, exchanged good practices, and discussed the results of the benchmarking studies. There were also focus sessions on three key topics: responding to and recovering from major incidents, taking a ‘brain-based approach’ to safety, and considering the safety culture of passengers. Finally, the workshop also included two external perspectives: the regulatory view of Safety Culture from the UK Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the trade union view of safety culture from the UK’s National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).