The Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the body responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation on the rail network, completed a consultation on a revised health and safety compliance and enforcement policy statement.

The document sets out the ORR’s principles of enforcement:

  • Proportionality – relating the level of enforcement to the level of risk
  • Targeting – the most serious risks
  • Consistency – of approach to enforcement action
  • Transparency – as to what is expected of a duty holder
  • Accountability – the Regulator must be accountable to the public for its actions

The new document includes a new section on “growth duty” which requires those exercising regulatory functions to have regard to economic growth when making decisions suggesting a move towards more engagement with duty holders rather than immediate enforcement action.

A new section is included providing advice on how to challenge the regulator’s decisions by both duty holders and victims. Duty holders are offered an internal complaints procedure beginning with line managers in the event they are not satisfied when verbal and written advice is offered. For affected parties, an independent peer review system has been set up in line with the EU Victims Directive.

The consultation closed on 25 September 2015.