Six months into the financial year 2018/9, we take a look at what reports to CIRAS look like so far, and what this might mean for the industry.   

We’ve published data on CIRAS reports from April to September 2018. Some observations: 

  • After a quiet year last year, report numbers are returning to their previous levels.  We’ve taken 92 reports so far this year compared to 52 for the same period last year. It’s possible this is partly down to the excellent work our members are doing to ensure their staff know about CIRASEvery report is a potential opportunity to improve workforce safety and prevent an incident. More reports also mean more intelligence to share with our member community.        
  • To date in 2018/9 we’ve seen a significant increase in the proportion of our reports sent to supply chain organisations, and a drop in the share of reports sent to infrastructure managers. Train Operating Companies (TOCs) have received a slightly higher proportion of reports and we have taken some in relation to a new member, the British Transport Police. It will be interesting to see if these trends continue for the rest of the year.   
  • Where we have been unable to process reports, this has most often been due to CIRAS not being able to protect a reporter’s identity. Confidentiality is critical to the integrity of our service. But even where we cannot process a report, we have given advice on who may be able to help with the concern - most frequently, Network Rail’s Speak Out service or the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (ACAS).  If there are reporting channels that your staff may need to be redirected to, please do get in touch to check that we are aware of them and have up to date contact information to pass on. 
  • Rules and procedures remain the most common topic of concern e.g. failure to observe rules, taking short cuts etc. Good procedures don’t always mean good practice – and it can be hard to speak up internally when rules are flouted. Reports such as these often lead to additional training and re-briefing of staff. 
  • Third party reporting - where an employee raises a concern relating to a company it doesn’t work for - continues to be a significant proportion of our work. See the CIRAS news section for a link to a new poster you can use to remind your colleagues that they can use our service in this way.