Systems Safety Assurance (Guideline)

Type of product being suggested:
Title of product being suggested:
Systems Safety Assurance
Date of suggestion:
March 17
Reason for suggestion:
There is an opportunity in the industry given the amount of change happening, and the gap between existing guidance materials.
Sponsored by RISSB Standing Committee:
Safety Standing Committee
The scope of this project
The scope of this project would be the production of a guideline in accordance with RISSB’s accredited development process.
The scope of the guideline
The Australian Rail Industry is undergoing unprecedented change, and the expectations of industry and public on being able to demonstrate that the delivered assets and systems will be safe to operate and maintain. ONRSR have released the Major Projects Guideline which articulates their expectations and outputs, but it doesn’t describe how to deliver on these (note that the proposed guideline would not limit its scope to major projects). EN50126 is an excellent standard, but again it doesn’t provide guidance or support to organisations wishing to develop capability or systems to support the delivery.

It would cover items such as:
Data / information
Audit / inspection

Some organisations have done significant work in this area providing a good foundation for this national guideline, reducing the development effort/cost. It would be a high value, low cost product.

Hazard identification:
2.1 Loss of accreditation
2.1.1 The failure to allocate resources
2.1.2 Policies and objectives not being documented
2.1.4 Management reviews not being conducted
2.1.8 The failure to monitor the status of RSW competencies
2.1.9 The failure to follow appropriate risk management processes
2.1.10 The failure to identify and document major hazards across operations
2.1.16 The failure to conduct internal audits
2.1.19 The failure to monitor and review incident and accident trends
2.1.23 The lack of effective change control systems


Safety risk
The railway works very hard to deliver safety and has a very good safety record. This guideline would seek to reinforce that success, and further demonstrate maturity in safety management thereby ‘keeping up its end of the bargain’ in this coregulatory model.
Interoperability / harmonisation
This guideline would promote consistency of approach in safety assurance and generally raise the bar for safety across the industry.
Improved safety is not just a good thing to have. Accidents are expensive, and avoiding them also avoids those costs. If you think safety is expensive, try an accident – Sir Stelios, founder of EasyJet.