The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has announced that one of its deputy chief inspectors with a lengthy career in engineering and safety will succeed Ian Prosser CBE in the summer as HM chief inspector of railways.
Richard Hines, who currently heads up the team of ORR’s non-mainline health and safety inspectors and also oversees the regulator’s responsibilities on the Channel Tunnel, was appointed after an open and well-publicised recruitment in which there was considerable interest from a strong field of candidates with wide and diverse backgrounds.
In becoming director of railway safety, Richard will join the Board at ORR and will also head up HM Railway Inspectorate, an integral part of ORR since 2006. He becomes the 26th HM Chief Inspector of Railways in the Inspectorate’s 183 year old history.
Before initially joining ORR on secondment in 2020 Richard, who began his career in electrical engineering at British Sugar, spent 14 years at the Health and Safety Executive, initially as a specialist inspector on electrical control systems and rising in his last three years to Head of Operations.
ORR Chief Executive John Larkinson said: “Ian Prosser has served with distinction for the last fifteen years and his dedication and leadership has set a high standard for health and safety in the UK rail industry. But I’m confident that Richard’s leadership skills and deep understanding of health and safety will open the next chapter and lead to further improvements in both ORR and the industry.”
Richard Hines said: “I am delighted to take on this opportunity at a time of change and challenge for our railways. As I move into the role later in 2024, I look forward to working with the team and sector colleagues to build on previous successes and deliver a safe railway. The upcoming 200-year celebration of our railways provides us with an amazing opportunity to create a health and safety legacy of which we are all proud”.
Image credit: ORR