The Health and Safety Commission last week published its four-year plan to regulate and improve safety on the railways after the crash at Potters Bar earlier this month.
The report, written before the crash, identifies seven key areas of improvement. These are:
  • Installing train protection and warning system equipment, and measures to reduce the number of signals passed at danger.
  • Better maintenance of the infrastructure.
  • Improving the arrangements for managing private sector contractors.
  • Reducing the risks to trackside workers.
  • Preventing vandalism to the track and rolling stock.
  • Reducing assaults on rail workers.
  • Improving the recognition and understanding of occupational health issues.

Richard Clifton, the Health and Safety Executive's railway policy director, said the challenge of improving health and safety would require close co-operation and consultation between the industry, trade unions, passenger groups and railway authorities.

He said: "All those working in the railway industry can expect the HSE to take regulatory action in a targeted and proportionate way."

The report, which is called Strategy for Improving Health and Safety on the Railways 2002-2005, clarifies the role of the HSE, and the HSC's operational role in the regulation of the railways, over the next three years.