Human and Organisational Factors

Human and Organisational Factors Working Group (HOFWG)

Chair: Nora Balfe, Irish Rail
Vice-chair: Margot Van Vliet, Prorail
UIC Coordinator: Virginie Papillault

Meetings: 3 to 4 times a year.

HOF Working Group objectives

  • supporting UIC members in integrating Human and Organisational Factors in their safety systems as appropriate tools for enhancing safety, reliability and efficiency;
  • implementing a HOF digital platform to connect the railway community of Human & Organisational Factors. This community-based platform will facilitate the exchange of practices and experiences related to HOF;
  • exchanging information/best practices on innovations and introduction of new technologies in railways to drive the change linked to automation;
  • conducting human organisational analyses of safety events through feedback from experience;
  • delivering useful recommendations/guidelines for UIC members and presenting them in widely-targeted publications;
  • supporting members in implementing “operational” Safety Culture as a key enabler of effective safety management;
  • developing a network of rail HOF experts in the railways and beyond.

Special Task Forces may be created on an ad hoc basis if requested on a specific subject.


UIC Contact

UIC Coordinator: Virginie Papillault

Safety guidance

Towards a positive railway safety culture
September 2019

View brochure on

In 2012, the UIC Safety Platform held three one-day conferences on the theme of safety culture. These conferences brought together railway operators and representatives of other industries (energy, healthcare, chemicals, aviation) and gave rise to two major questions:

  • What are the links and interactions between safety management and safety culture?
  • How can we measure safety culture?

These two questions were explored at greater length by the UIC Human Factors Working Group and a dedicated “Safety Culture” task force.

This report presents the conclusions of their work.

Whereas the concept of safety management is nowadays fairly well defined in a number of legal texts, the same cannot be said of the concept of safety culture.

However, if a company wishes to improve and measure its safety culture, it needs to define its goals and have at its disposal a set of relevant metrics against which to measure its performance.

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Tuesday 18 June 2024