Goal setting principles for railway safety

About this consultation

The purpose of this consultation is to generate discussion around seven principles:

  1. Health and safety by design
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Stations and stabling areas (sidings and depots)
  4. Electric traction systems
  5. Railway control systems
  6. Level crossings
  7. Trains

Each principle details the health and safety performance required by an item of works, plant or equipment, referred to as the factors. The legal requirements for each principle are defined and signposts are identified to further guidance.

  • The intended audience for the principles document includes:
  • Health and safety managers in the rail industry
  • Those designing or putting into use new or altered works, railway vehicles, plant or equipment
  • Other managers in roles which affect safety, particularly in the development and implementation of standards
  • Staff working on the railway and their representatives
  • ORR railway inspectors and engineers

The principles are intended to:

  • identify the high level safety principles relevant to them or their organisation or project
  • understand their responsibilities and help make sure they meet their duties
  • find more detailed information if they need to


The ORR has launched a consultation on its draft goal-setting principles in relation to health and safety by design. These include consideration of sustainability, resilience and whole-life factors. The principles will apply to all new or altered works, railway vehicles, plant and equipment capable of affecting safety on: mainline, non-mainline, & heritage railways, where ORR has a role in technical authorisation.

Proposed changes


Consultation questions

ORR has asked specific questions:

  1. Is the structure of principles about right?
  2. Does the document contain relevant principles and are any missing?
  3. Is the terminology used in the document up to date and meaningful?
  4. Do the principles signpost specific legislation, standards and guidance in a helpful way that does not make the document unwieldy or out of date very quickly when standards change?
  5. Is the format of the document suitable for other principles for railway safety documents that may be published for specific areas (electrification is given as an example)?

Please use the ORR questions and send us your responses to this consultation to consultation@iosh.co.uk by 10th August 2016. Members who wish to respond as individuals or representing their businesses can do so by completing the survey response form by 17:00 on 31st August 2016.