Level crossing risk management

Having completed detailed risk assessments for approximately 15% of the 6500 crossings in the UK, developed a portfolio of risk assessment tools and methods deployed across Europe, Australia and the UK we know a thing or two about level crossings.

Find more about our range of services in this important area

*** New Training Service ***

The SORAT-LX training course gives participants the expertise and confidence to apply the SORAT-LX tool.

Use of the tool is a key step in designing signalling layouts, completing Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessments as well as managing level crossing risk. 

The course:

  • Provides an introduction to the tool and its development
  • Explains how to use the tool
  • Demonstrates how to assess options
  • Works delegates through a case study.

Courses are run throughout year in London, or at your offices.  The course cost is £600 per delegate. 

Contact us to enquire about training

Safety arguments

Safety arguments provide a formal demonstration, supported by evidence, that a system is acceptably safe for a given application in a specified environment.

Three challenges exist with safety arguments:

  • Developing systems, equipment and processes that are adequately safe.
  • Providing a sufficient body of evidence that demonstrates safety performance.
  • Framing the argument in a robust and persuasive format that is compliant with the prevailing regulations, standards and expectations of the accepting authority.
More details

Risk modelling

Risk modelling refers to the application of a wide range of analytical and mathematical techniques to determine the likelihood of particular (undesirable) events occurring, their escalation and potential consequences.

The team at Sotera has been undertaking risk modelling since 1990 and developed the first network wide railway risk model for London Underground from about 1992.

The most common risk modelling technique is fault and event tree analysis, which was the subject of David’s PhD, complete in 1990.

Sotera has pioneered a range of modelling techniques and applied many others.

Further details can be found here

Risk tool development

Developing a risk model for a railway, offshore platform, transport network or chemical process plant is a major undertaking requiring a significant investment in time, data gathering and analysis. Risk assessments and models are far too commonly completed for a specific project or to gain a license to operate and then left to gather dust.

Sotera specialises in developing risk models into tools that are readily updated and continuously used as part of ‘live’ decision making and to prioritise investment.

Developing a risk model into an assessment tool has a range of advantages and maximises the return on the investment.

Find out more about the benefits

Location specific risk modelling

When information about risk is communicated, it is often presented as an average, such as the chance of being attacked by a shark, the likelihood of being struck by lightning or the probability of contracting a particularly nasty illness. These averages are highly misleading; the risk of suffering one of these fates is dominated by the location the person is in, the activity being undertaken and the risk controls in place.

Exactly the same principle applies to industrial and transport risks, consequently risk management strategies need to be focussed on the specific circumstances and locational factors. Sotera pioneered the development of location specific risk models where the risk for each location and activity is analysed and managed.

Find out more

Human error analysis

The history of rail and industrial accidents is an illustration of the importance of people within engineering, chemical and transport systems. Whilst engineers and scientists have developed an incredible understanding of the laws of physics, the properties of materials and thermodynamics, the behaviour of people is much less predictable and harder to quantify with a degree of accuracy.

Human error analysis explores a range of methods to understand the errors that people can make in completing their roles in different environments, assess the likelihood of the errors and develop suitable strategies to reduce the likelihood of occurrence and improve the chances of recovery.

Hazard identification

Hazard identification describes a range of structured processes for eliciting the potentially harmful failures that can occur with the operation of a system or process.

Sotera has undertaken hazard identification in a diverse range of disciplines, including:

  • Integrated transport plans
  • Chemical processes
  • Railway operations
  • Signalling equipment and systems
  • Control rooms
  • Rolling stock design
  • Ground engineering
  • Train driving.

We have found that careful planning and critical thinking is require to ensure the process identifies the pertinent hazard in an efficient and effective manner.

Common safety methods

In 2013, the EU introduced regulations on common safety methods (CSMs) for risk evaluation and assessment for railways.

The regulations introduced a new framework for the acceptance of significant technical, operational or organisational changes to the railway. The regulations replaced, inter alia, The Railways (Safety Case) Regulations 2000.

The new framework introduces new criteria for acceptance of change including application of codes of practice, similarity with reference systems and explicit risk estimation.

Sotera has expertise in application of the CSM process, and the previous regulatory regimes.