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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Impact of CIRAS

Document Series
Helen Muir
Subject Risk Reduction Program
Workshop: Improving Railroad Safety through Understanding Close Calls
Helen Muir Presentation: Impact of CIRAS


Slide 1
Impact of CIRAS

CIRAS the Confidential Incident and Analysis Scheme for Rail Industry

- Facility to confidentially report safety concerns.
- Concerns can be acted upon in constructive manner
- Natural reticence to report.


Slide 2
Since November 1999

* Currently over 77,000 staff enrolled
* Over 2,500 reports received
* No instance of breach of confidentiality


Slide 3

CIRAS will provide a confidential route for employees in the railway industry to report safety related concerns to an independent body with the expectation that they will receive a considered response.  Analysis of all these reports will contribute positively to a safer railway.


Slide 4
CIRAS Development

* Challenge
* Implementation Group
* Steering Committee
* CharitableTrust


Slide 5
Development Plan

* Scottish Pilot Scheme
* 3 Regions
* Safety Critical and Safety Related Staff
* Tenders Invited
* Regional Centre 1 -  Scotland and North of England
* Regional Centre 2 -  Middle England
* Regional Centre 3 -  South of England

CIRAS National Database


Slide 6
Reporting System

* Reports to Regional Centres
* Regional Liaison Committees
* Regional Journals
* Information to CIRAS National Database
* CIRAS National Reports (2 per year)
* Company Reports
* Sector Topic Reports


Slide 7
National Standards

* Training Regional Providers
* Rail Staff Briefing
* Auditing Performance


Slide 8

* Drivers, Signallers, Safety Critical
    and Safety Related of main

* Railway infrastructure contractors
    and main subcontractors

* Fourth centre


Slide 9
CIRAS Principles

* Accepts reports from any employee in
    rail industry
* Any safety related subject (engineering,
    health, operations)
* CIRAS additional to company reporting
* Reporters personal details kept
* Personal responses available to
    employees of participating companies
* System not for real-time reports
* All information property of CIRAS
    Charitable Trust
* Method of operating CIRAS determined by
    National Steering Group


Slide 10

Obligations on Participating Companies

* Commit sufficient resources to prepare
    considered responses to reports
* Nominate a company representative
* Promote use of CIRAS (briefings etc)
* Pay subscriptions
* Support National Steering Group


Slide 11
Deliverables to Industry Stakeholders

* Insights and practices to assist managers
* Analysis of reports received
* Outlet for responding to individuals
    safety related issues
* Intelligence to assist managers with
    priorities for actions and to Railway
    Group Safety Plan



Slide 12
Use of CIRAS Information

* Railway Safety Standard Board
* Trades Unions
* Train Operating Companies (TOCs)
* Track Maintenance Contractors
* London Underground
* Health and Safety Executive (HSE)


Slide 13
Independent Market Research
into Effectiveness of CIRAS

* 70 interviews from rail staff in 3 regions
* High level of awareness of CIRAS and
   broad purpose
* Independent from rail companies
* Confidentiality never in doubt
* Effective for: 	
    raising awareness of safety issues
    safety valve for staff
    shaming some companies into action
* Strong support for Journals
* Not always effective in achieving
   acceptable response from companies
* Not always resolving issues resulting
   in tangible improvements


Slide 14
Achievements and Future Challenges

* Establishment of National System
* Support, confidentiality and trust
* Review of Journals
* Changes in Rail Industry
* New Technology
* Second Generation

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Last updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2003