To start developing a safety case you need to consult with your team members, staff, volunteers etc. about safety in the organisation. Then as you have these discussions you’ll start to identify the key areas where safety risks exist and be able to consider the measures you could take to ensure those risks don’t develop into an accident or incident.
Some good questions to initiate this discussion have been provided below:
Ideally, writing the safety case won’t require you to do anything more than you have already done to be a safe organisation. It’s just about documenting the ‘argument’ that everyone will continue to be safe while performing their daily duties.
A safety case makes clear your commitment to safety and provides all the details required to demonstrate that you’re meeting that commitment and will continue to do so. Because of this it can be said to contain a safety ‘argument’, as it provides the evidence that all your rail activities can and are being performed safely.
A key element to ensure your organisation’s safety case is written the right way is to focus on what you want to achieve from your safety activities and why. This reasoning should assure anyone reading the document that you can achieve your goals and that they will work to keep people safe.
Developing a good safety case will take time. It will also take time for it to be approved (or for a variation to be approved), so if you want to start your activities by a given date, you need to make sure you start early.
During its development, you will probably identify other useful people, safety options that you need to research, risks you need to understand better, and further business planning and decisions that need to be made.
Getting everyone on board with your safety case is critical, especially these key roles:
For smaller operators where one person may hold a variety of roles within the organisation, it’s important to ensure that a wide range of people are involved and can contribute using their knowledge and experience and that ownership of the safety case is established.
As well as complying with Section 30 of the Railways Act, a good safety case will describe what you seek to achieve and why (your goals), rather than go into detail about the actions you will be taking. A good check to see if you’re doing this is to ensure each aspect of the safety case:
This commits the organisation to have a safety system in place that can demonstrate the detail around each of your organisation’s goals in support of your safety case.