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Rail Design Risk Management
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Rail Design Risk Management

A 1-day introduction to the high level principles & formal methods of risk
assessment & analysis in design, developed by engineers, & its application
to design in the rail industry

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Key Learning Objectives

On completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Examine and address topical issues of design safety risk in the rail industry
  • Discuss the current and developing legislative requirements for rail design risk
  • State how risks in general should be managed
  • Explain in detail the principle ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’
  • Explain the concept of the designer as a ‘rail safety worker’ and its implications
  • Demonstrate design risks reduced ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’
  • Use case studies to understand the potential for things to go wrong
  • Identify and use relevant standards to aid management of design risk
  • Use case studies to develop the practical skills of design risk management

About the Course

This course provides participants with detailed knowledge of the management of design safety risk in the rail industry, knowledge that can be applied to any design process, from major infrastructure work to new rolling stock and smaller specialised project work.

The course begins with an examination of legislated requirements as they affect design safety risk, satisfying this being the minimum that must be achieved in the design process. Central to this requirement is the concept of eliminating or reducing risk ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’, and how that can be demonstrated.

The course will focus on established tools and techniques that can aid risk management in the design process, as well as relevant Australian and international standards. Practical examples and case studies will reinforce this learning.

The actual or potential consequences of getting it wrong at the design stage will be examined in detail through a review of rail incidents where design was integral to the outcome. This applies to MOST rail incidents and major disasters. The course will emphasise the need to learn from such incidents and suggest ways in which that can be achieved.

Participation in case studies of actual incidents will assist participants to take on board all of the above and go away better equipped to avoid the pitfalls associated with rail design safety.

Who Will Benefit

All those in the rail industry who need a fundamental appreciation and insight into how risk affects the functionality, usability and safety of a rail project

  • Design engineers and managers
  • Project engineers and managers
  • Safety managers

Terms & Conditions

To read the training course terms and conditions read more here

Course Outline


  • Personal introductions
  • Course overview, individual expectations, interests and experience

Understanding risk

  • What is risk and how is it measured?
  • The relevant risk management standards, such as AS31000
  • The concept of ‘vital’ equipment in the rail industry
  • Understanding what is meant by ‘fail safe’

Examples of design safety risk in rail

  • What do we mean by ‘design safety risk’ in rail?
  • Linking the design with reality
  • The importance of user input and stakeholder consultation
  • Learning from the mistakes of others

Case Study 1

  • A high profile major rail disaster that had its genesis in design
  • A detailed look at the way the incident unfolded
  • What aspects of design were flawed and how this could have been avoided
  • Practical exercise for participants

What does the legislation have to say about rail design risk

  • A look at the Rail Safety Act and its regulations
  • The designer as a ‘rail safety worker’ – what are the implications?
  • The importance of competency management
  • The meaning of ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ (SFAIRP)

Case Study 2

  • A practical application of the concept of SFAIRP
  • How to demonstrate SFAIRP at the design stage
  • The importance of independent verifications and validation
  • What does ‘fail safe’ mean
  • Practical exercise for participants

The tools of design safety risk management

  • Established methods of examining designs such as Fault Tree and FMECA
  • The principles of railway safety
  • Relevant standards such as EN 50126 and their application
  • Practical exercise for participants in the use of these tools

Case Study 3

  • A detailed look at the Waterfall disaster and its impact on the management of rail safety in Australia
  • Why the disaster could have been avoided by better design
  • Why it is still relevant
  • Practical exercise for participants

The ‘Yellow Book’

  • How it was developed
  • Its application in rail projects
  • How it deals with design safety risk
  • Other useful sources of information

Case Study 4

  • A detailed look at a non-rail disaster where design was a fundamental cause
  • The lessons learned from the disaster
  • Why such lessons are not always heeded
  • What can the rail industry learn from such incidents

The importance of testing and commissioning

  • What can go wrong and how to avoid this
  • Methodology and planning
  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Its role in demonstrating SFAIRP

Human factors in design

  • Ensuring that the design is user friendly
  • he people factor in design safety risk
  • Learning from the past

Course summary and way forward

  • The key learning points to take away
  • Why design is not just about engineering knowledge
  • Participant exercise to identify what changes they will attempt to make

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


Still have a question?

Sushil Kunwar
Training Consultant
+61 (0)2 9080 4395

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