RSSB to publish health data insights to help reduce rail’s risk and cost

RSSB have announced a new quarterly report which will help organisations get a better understanding of their health and wellbeing performance.

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The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has announced that it is publishing a new quarterly report which will help organisations get a better understanding of their health and wellbeing performance.  Aimed at health, HR, and operational decision makers, the new report provides access to shared, aggregated data to assess and monitor health risks, and benchmark against others.

RSSB’s research suggests that rail industry’s sickness absence rates are just over three per cent higher than the ONS average. Mental ill-health was the primary cause of absence in the data submitted, which is also supported by analysis using the Health and Wellbeing Index.

The report marks the start of a new era in health data-sharing by the rail industry, a strategy which has served the sector so well on safety matters over the last 25 years. For the first time, health risks are quantified in a way that can help rail wellbeing champions and budget holders target the right interventions. RSSB’s experts are keen to stress this is the first ever report and, while the figures can provide some food-for-thought for all HR and operational leads, the real value is for the 12 organisations who participated in the benchmarking, to get their own customised, independent analysis and assessment from RSSB.

Research is ongoing to continuously improve the benchmarking and reporting process, and by June 2024, the last phase of the work will see the roll-out of the system to the whole industry. That said, RSSB is still open to new participants joining the research phase to contribute to this initial phase of quarterly reporting.

“Tackling the risk and cost associated with poor health is much more difficult without the right data to quantify them,” Magdalena Wronska, Health and Wellbeing Specialist for RSSB, said. “This ground-breaking research and new quarterly report help industry take a huge leap forward in data capability and insights. It means board rooms and budget holders are better informed about the choices concerning policy and investment in health. And ultimately this means better employee wellbeing, and reduced risk and cost.”

The initiative forms part of the work RSSB does to help the rail industry work together through Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railway (LHSBR).

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