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Safety shift encourages engineering analysis

The government hopes to encourage engineers to use their judgement more when deciding how rigorously to apply safety standards on the railways.

The rail White Paper says train operators and Network Rail 'need to move away from a culture where standards are followed unquestioningly, whatever their impact, and move to a risk-based safety system where decisions are taken based on proper analysis.'

As part of the shake up the Health & Safety Executive is to lose control of safety on the railways and on London's Underground. Instead rail safety responsibility will transfer to the rail regulator.

'Moving health and safety regulation and experience and expertise from the HSE to the ORR will simplify the regulatory structure of the rail industry and provide a fresh start to encourage cultural change across the rail industry, ' says the White Paper.

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