In its latest annual report to the Government, the Commission for Railway Regulation of Ireland strongly criticises state-owned rail operator Iarnród Éireann over its attitude towards safety regulation and the challenges it has posed to the authority of the regulator.
In 2011, Iarnród Éireann introduced safety-management systems in line with EU requirements, and since then considerable progress had been made in continuously improving safety management in the sector. However, the report says “throughout 2015 it was evident that Iarnród Éireann was taking a noticeably different approach towards safety regulations. This was most evident in the stance adopted at the most senior level of Iarnród Éireann management when responding to matters of safety-management compliance identified by the commission.”
The commission says it is worrying that at the most senior level of management in the State-owned rail operator “there appears to be a misapprehension in regard to the need for safety-management systems to conform to the “Deming cycle” – plan-do-check-act”.