An original model of measuring safety culture in rail transport

An original model of measuring safety culture in rail transport

The key role in supporting the implementation of the safety culture strategy is the use of the European model of railway safety culture. It is a conceptual framework which supports the organization in the process of assessing safety culture and identifying areas for improvement in the organization.

The model consists of three elements:

  • cultural factors which foster the development of organizational culture,
  • behavioral patterns, shared ways of thinking and acting which convey organizational culture,
  • railway safety fundamentals: those fundamental principles which must be reflected in behavioral patterns to achieve sustainable safety and organizational excellence.

Attention should also be paid to the definition of the scope of the impact of safety culture in terms of its operationalization. A coherent model of safety culture management and measurement can be based on four fundamental areas:

  • Informed Culture,
  • Reporting Culture,
  • Learning Culture,
  • Just Culture.
Figure: A.Jabłoński, M.Jabłoński, Directions for the implementation of action plans in the field of safety culture, Railway Safety Culture Model. Theory and Practical Implications, Cedewu, 2021.

In the area of ​​the railway incident reporting perspective, the following question should be answered: How should we report safety culture information? In the area of ​​the informed perspective, in turn, the following question should be answered: What rules and channels should we implement? In terms of the learning perspective, it is important what knowledge we should have to fulfill safety culture criteria. In terms of the Just Culture perspective, on the other hand, it is necessary to answer the question of how we should apply the principles of fair treatment. Such a model will allow for the measurement and monitoring of key aspects of the safety culture of railway enterprises.

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