The LRSSB’s new fatigue management guidance is now nearing completion, with release for industry consultation due shortly.

As part of the development process, LRSSB engaged a leading fatigue risk management consultancy, Clockwork Research, to undertake peer review of the organisation’s latest guidance document, LRG 6.0 – Fatigue management, ahead of its planned publication in May.

Mark Ashmore, Safety Assurance Manager at the LRSSB, explained: “The guidance draws on the expertise and experience of health and safety professionals from across light rail and related transport sectors.

“It includes details of the employer’s legal responsibilities in relation to fatigue monitoring and management of employees in safety critical roles, as well as information on mitigation measures.

“This consultation will ensure that the final published guidance is fully up to date and in line with the latest research and legislation, as well as covering the broadest range of workplace scenarios.”

Offering detailed analysis of the risks associated with working patterns, night shifts and factors outside the work environment, the guidance aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of fatigue-related issues.

Once published, it will be available on the LRSSB website and provide a vital reference document for operators in a key area of health and safety management.

A major review of light rail risk factors is now being initiated as part of efforts to build a comprehensive, sector-wide model.

Experts from Atkins, a leading rail safety consultancy, are working on behalf of the LRSSB to develop updated ‘risk profiles’ covering all UK systems.

At present information supplied by individual operators is under review, taking into account measures put in place following the Sandilands tragedy.

Mark Ashmore, LRSSB Safety and Assurance Manager, explained: “Clearly, operators are constantly updating their own assessments, in response to their own experiences and the incorporation of changes as part of new guidance.

“This review aims to bring existing profiles up to date, providing a robust platform to build on. It will provide a valuable tool as operators continue their work to enhance safety and driving down risk.

“Once complete, the new risk profiles will provide a thorough evaluation of common risk factors and those that are also network specific. This will help both operators and LRSSB to prioritise, guidance development, mitigation measures and to allocate resources appropriately.”

The current review is expected to take several months to complete, with profile updates anticipated to become available for review later in the year.

LRSSB Chief Executive, Carl Williams, has outlined the organisation’s plans for the future and its successes to date in a wide-ranging interview for a leading transport sector magazine.

In the latest edition of Rail Director, he reflects on the challenge of taking up his role during the coronavirus pandemic but says the organisation has moved quickly since its formation to bring together a team of industry experts and safety professionals.

Now Mr Williams says he’s relishing the task of taking the LRSSB to the next level, and the organisation has already received fantastic support as the light rail sector embraces a wide range of safety-related initiatives.

The feature article also covers the development of a sector-wide risk management model and other key projects backed by the LRSSB and you can read it in full here.

Safety professionals from across the light rail sector are helping to develop comprehensive, up-to-date guidance covering the management of workplace medical fitness.

Drawing on existing best practice, current legislation and risk assessments from light rail operators and related sectors, it aims to provide guidance for assessing the medical suitability of employees responsible for operating a vehicle.

Mark Ashmore, Safety Assurance Manager at the LRSSB, explained: “Fully updating current guidance, the new document is now being reviewed by colleagues from across the sector and we’ve already received a lot of positive feedback.

“Once this consultation is complete, a final version of the document, designated LRG11.0 Medical Fitness, will be available on the LRSSB website and provide a valuable resource for anyone managing health and safety in a light rail environment.”

The approved guidance is expected to be published by the LRSSB in the spring and will include information on the responsibility of an employer to put in place measures to ensure appropriate testing and screening is in place.

It also contains a recommendation that the minimal level of fitness required to drive a tram should be at least equal to that required to operate a Passenger Service Vehicle (Group 2 driving licence medical standard).

Mark added: “The development of this new guidance offers another example of the LRSSB’s commitment to sharing best practice across the sector and developing a central resource covering all aspects of light rail safety and standards.”

Further information about the guidance can be obtained by emailing

A project that aims to build a valuable resource for light rail health and safety professionals will take a major step forward in March with the resumption of critical software training.

A series of workshops, that included an introduction to BowTie XP, were put on hold due to coronavirus but now the programme to build a comprehensive database of risk assessments is back on track.

Mark Ashmore, LRSSB Safety and Assurance Manager, explained: “By taking part in online workshops, colleagues from Edinburgh, Nottingham, Manchester, Blackpool and Sheffield were able to complete the first block of training before Christmas.

“However, further online sessions, planned for January, were postponed due to availability issues created by the latest lockdown. Since then the LRSSB has worked closely with the training provider to develop a new training timetable, broken down into shorter modules through March and April, that are more manageable for those taking part.

“This will enable remaining operators to receive the training they need to start populating the database that will provide a valuable tool for health and safety professionals across the sector.”

Funded by the LRSSB, the new database will produce a suit of global BowTie risk assessments with collective input drawn from existing network risk profiles and assessments covering all aspects of light rail operations.  The training will help to develop a standard process and common ‘language’ for data entry.

The BowTie risk assessment database is one of several projects currently being developed by the LRSSB that aim to build a central resource and comprehensive model of risk assessment, management and mitigation to facilitate and enhance the communication of best practice across the sector.

Following a routine review, an updated version of the Tramways Principles and Guidance (LRG 1.0) document has been published on the LRSSB web portal.

Proposals for a further comprehensive revision and restructuring of LRG1.0 have also been announced as part of the organisation’s future business planning and are outlined in the letter below from LRSSB Chief Executive Carl Williams.

LRSSB.CW.0008 – Industry Letter TPG – 01.03.2021

The current, recently reviewed document can be downloaded here.

New guidance aimed at reducing and managing the risks associated with stray electrical currents on tramways and other light rail systems has been published by the LRSSB.

Drawing on a wide range of existing British and International standards and sector expertise, the guidance is the latest in a series of safety documents to be made available through the organisation’s web portal.

Mark Ashmore, Safety Assurance Manager at the LRSSB, explained: “In any electrical circuit, ‘Earth’ doesn’t provide perfect insulation and any difference in voltage between the rails and nearby buried conductors can result in current ‘leakage’.

“Such stray current can cause electrolytic corrosion to nearby infrastructure such as metallic pipes carrying gas and water.”

“This latest guidance document from the LRSSB looks at the statutory obligation of scheme sponsors and operators in relation to stray current management, as well as best practice on mitigation measures.”

The new guidance also sets out a standardised process for managing the issue, including the setting up a formal stray current management strategy, and can be downloaded here

The LRSSB is inviting nominations for an unpaid Non-Executive Director to represent light rail operators on the organisation’s board.

Full details of the role, and the nomination process, are outlined in a letter from LRSSB Chief Executive Carl Williams which can be viewed by opening the link below.

LRSSB CW0009 Board Nomination Letter – 10.02.2021


Light rail operators across the UK are being offered the chance to benefit from the latest artificial intelligence and virtual reality research funded by the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board.

Initial trials of a new ‘hazard perception technology tool’ have proved a huge success, and now the organisation responsible for further enhancing light rail safety is rolling out the software to the wider sector.

Similar to that used by the DVLA for driving licence testing, the software is specifically designed to meet the needs of the light rail operators. It can be run on a mid-range PC (either laptop or desktop) and is now available from the LRSSB at no cost to operators.

Carl Williams, the organisation’s Chief Executive, explained: “The project and software continues to evolve, but it’s now ready to be adopted across the sector, and we hope it will help set new standards in the training and recruitment of drivers.”

The computer program is designed to immerse users in a digital virtual world where they can encounter a variety of both typical and unusual hazards in a recognisable working environment.

It’s capable of recreating a wide range of scenarios that take into account road user behaviours and the activity of less aware pedestrians to familiarise the user with unusual situations that are too difficult or dangerous to reproduce in real life.

West Midlands Metro has already participated in trials of the technology, and Anthony Stanley, the tramway’s Head of Quality, Health and Safety and the Environment, commented: “As well as providing a really useful tool for existing drivers to hone their hazard perception skills, this excellent software package is playing a significant role in our recruitment programme.

“When used in the early stage of the process, it can help us identify those with the most appropriate attitude towards risk and measure hazard perception abilities in an objective way.”

The hazard perception tool was developed following workshops set up by the LRSSB and training simulation specialists Avansim and can benefit systems of all sizes, from the smallest heritage operations through to major city-based networks.

“The LRSSB has led on the project from the start, and now the whole light rail sector can benefit from this pioneering work,” Mr Williams added.

For further details on how to obtain the hazard perception tool, please contact

The Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has published updated guidance to help sponsors of new tramway systems to meet current legislation on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

Before operations can begin, or new vehicles are introduced on existing systems, tests are required to ensure that the electromagnetic fields generated will not interfere with other electronic or radio equipment in the vicinity.

The latest guidance from the LRSSB outlines these tests and steps that need to be taken to ensure infrastructure and vehicles meet the latest legislation.

Mark Ashmore, Safety Assurance Manager at the LRSSB, explained: “Historically, the process for management of EMC for light rail schemes was through a Network Rail’s Infrastructure Safety Review who would issue a ‘Letter of No Objection’ in response to assurances and a management plan submitted by the scheme sponsor.

“However, the management of EMC is now set out in UK law by The Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016, and the process for approvals is managed by the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB).

“The new guidance from the LRSSB aims to help scheme sponsors to manage the approval process and draws on expertise from across the sector to promote best practice.”

The document, which can be downloaded here ( contains information on developing a comprehensive EMC strategy and useful information that needs to be taken into account when putting together a management plan and a useful hazard analysis.