When you finish your safety case there are a number of checks you can do to make sure it’s complete – with the main one being that it’s working for your organisation and providing value for your staff and customers.
We’ve outlined some additional checks and considerations on this page.
If you already have a safety case and are looking to get some changes approved, see Safety case variations.
Getting your safety case approved can sometimes be a gradual process. If you’re finding it difficult, get in touch with us and we’ll work with you to get it to completion. Remember, you’re not submitting something to be graded, we’re working together to get a complete, accurate and valuable document so we’ll be providing the advice you need to get it there.
The statements below provide a good high-level check of your safety case. They should all be true.
The Railways Act 2005 lists the content required for a safety case in Section 30 - Contents of a safety case(external link) and you can use this legislation as a checklist of sorts. The example structure provides links to each piece of relevant legislation, so if you’ve followed that, everything should be included.
The bullets below summarise these requirements in plain English:
In the interests of safety it is important for you to conduct regular reviews of your risks. This is what you should have outlined in the monitoring section of your safety case.
Your safety case should be at a high enough level that minor changes in risks over time are covered by the safety management system you have outlined. You will need to update it following changes in cited legislation or agencies, which will acknowledge your awareness of the changes and how they affect you. When you identify risks that aren’t being managed appropriately you will need to request a variation, see Safety case variations.
While your safety case is used by your organisation every day as you manage the risks of your operation, the document is officially used on a number of occasions to regulate safety, which have been listed below.
Part of being granted a rail licence includes having your safety case approved by the Transport Agency.
Part of being a licensed rail participant involves periodic assessments of your rail activities. When the Transport Agency performs this assessment, they are essentially assessing whether your operations are compliant with the safety commitments and approach outlined in your safety case.
If there is a rail accident or incident in your organisation, or a near miss, your safety case is often an important reference document to ensure operations were carried out in accordance with your safety approach.
When your rail activity interacts with other rail participants, the management of these interactions needs to be covered in your safety case. Your safety case can be a useful reference document in these discussions also.
Your safety case should be periodically reviewed (aside from assessments), which will normally coincide with reviews of your safety systems. The trigger for a safety case variation may not always be a change in your rail activities, and could arise from operational monitoring and findings.
Audits help you discover whether the controls detailed in your safety case are being carried out and whether they’re working. They ensure your team are in compliance with procedures, policies and rules and that your safety equipment is in place and working.
When a third party carries out an audit, your safety case may be required as an information source or as evidence that safety controls are in place for all aspects of your operation.