HomeHSEQRAIB publishes Annual Report for 2023

RAIB publishes Annual Report for 2023

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The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has published its annual report covering the period 1 January to 31 December 2023. The report summarises operational and investigative activity undertaken by the Branch during the year.

The report also highlights six themes which have run through the Branch’s work during 2023. These are: safety of trackworkers, the safety of people getting on and off trains, management of low adhesion, overspeeding, understanding the integrity of assets and corporate memory.

During 2023, 433 notifications were received by the RAIB, from which 51 events were identified as requiring a preliminary examination to determine the most appropriate response. From these preliminary examinations 13 investigations, 4 safety digests and 11 industry investigation reviews were started.

During 2023, RAIB published 14 full investigation reports, 6 safety digests, 7 letters to Coroners, one letter to industry and issued 2 notices of urgent safety advice. RAIB made 49 safety recommendations to 53 different organisations across the rail industry including infrastructure owners, train operators, manufacturers, and other authorities.

Andrew Hall, chief inspector of rail accidents, said: “We continue to draw lessons from the wide range of accidents we have investigated and publish reports which clearly explain the often-complex issues behind them.

“The lessons that can be derived from accidents and incidents that are not fatal should be as powerful and taken as seriously, as those that are. They are naturally more numerous and, as well as providing specific learning, can help paint a picture about organisational culture, the effectiveness of management assurance or levels of risk. The more seriously these accidents and incidents are taken, the less likely we are to face fatal accidents and larger scale catastrophic events such as the derailment at Carmont in August 2020.”

Further remarks on the six recurring safety themes can be found in Chief Inspector’s review of 2023 starting on page 2 of the attached Annual Report.

The RAIB continues to update and expand the series of ‘summaries of learning’ reports on its website, drawing on data from RAIB’s archive of investigations to highlight repeated and important safety learning. A tenth ‘summary of learning’ has been added this year relating to management assurance.

The full report can be viewed here.

Image credit: RAIB