Rail Safety and Standards Board

The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) is a British independent not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, which was established in 2003 upon the recommendation of the public inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove rail crash.[1] It is owned by rail industry stakeholders, including Network Rail, infrastructure managers, train operating companies and rolling stock companies.[2] As a condition of their license obligations, most train operators are required by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to be members of RSSB and to comply with the obligations of membership. [3]

Rail Safety & Standards Board
PurposeLead and facilitate the rail industry's work to achieve continuous improvement in the health and safety performance of the railways in Great Britain
  • The Helicon, South Place, London
Region served
Great Britain
Chief Executive
Mark Phillips

According to the ORR "The RSSB's principal objective is to lead and facilitate the rail industry's work to achieve continuous improvement in the health and safety performance of the railways in Great Britain."[3]

In this regard, it is intended to lead the other bodies associated with the Great Britain rail network:

(there is also National Rail which is the public face of the rail network).

The Board is responsible for the publication and updating of the British Railway Rule Book,[4] which defines technical standards and operating procedures. The RSSB promotes the Trackoff programme promoting rail safety within schools,[5] and the Sustainable Rail Programme[6] which has been established to support the rail industry in reaching its full potential for a sustainable transport system. In conjunction with UIC, RSSB provides SPARK, a web tool for the rail industry to share information and help drive innovation.[7]

Features of high-visibility clothing have improved the effectiveness and contributed to improved safety for rail workers and other staff.[8] The specifications for Rail Industry Standard RIS-3279-TOM (fluorescent orange) high-visibility clothing suitable for use on railways in the United Kingdom are published by the Rail Safety and Standards Board.[9]

RSSB also operates the GB railway supplier assurance scheme RISQS,[10] and the confidential incident reporting line, CIRAS.[11]


  1. ^ The Rt Hon Lord Cullen PC (2001). The Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry, Part 2 Report (PDF). Health and Safety Commission. pp. 11–12. ISBN 0-7176-2107-3. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  2. ^ "The RSSB chief executive describes how risk management has improved safety on GB railways". Contingency Today. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  3. ^ a b "License Obligations". ORR. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Rule Book" (PDF). Railway Group Standards online. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Welcome to Trackoff". RSSB. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  6. ^ "Sustainable Rail Programme" (PDF). RSSB. Retrieved 1 January 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Spark". International Union of Railways. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  8. ^ "EN ISO 20471:2013" (PDF). XMSilverline. 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Rail Industry Standard for High Visibility Clothing" (PDF). Rail Safety and Standards Board. 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  10. ^ "RISQS: Assurance for the Industry". Rail Technology Magazine. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Persons with significant control". Companies House. Retrieved 24 September 2018.

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