South Western Railway hosts the rail industry’s first national safeguarding conference

Posted: 15 May 2024 | | No comments yet

South Western Railway have hosted the first national safeguarding conference for the rail industry, discussing best practice.

south western railway safeguarding

South Western Railway (SWR) has won praise for hosting the railway’s first national safeguarding conference, dedicated to exploring and enhancing the protection of colleagues and customers on the rail network.  

The train operator convened representatives from across the railway industry, as well as key industry partners, for a day of presentations aimed at ‘developing capable guardianship’. 

A total of 15 train operating companies attended along with police services, charitable organisations, campaign groups, local authorities and local community leaders, as well as Network Rail and the Department for Transport. 

The conference, held on Friday 10 May at the Lloyd’s of London headquarters, provided a unique opportunity for speakers and attendees to share best practice and discuss safeguarding developments and trends.  

The conference offered a holistic insight into the various aspects of safeguarding, including the British Transport Police (BTP) Safeguarding on Rail scheme, trauma risk management, tackling abuse against colleagues, suicide prevention, and protecting vulnerable young people.

A roundup video of the day can be watched here.

SWR’s Head of Security and Safety Assurance, Dan O’Riordan, invited other train operators to pick up the baton and host their own national conferences to continue these important conversations in the years ahead. 

This call was echoed by the Rail Minister at the Department for Transport, Huw Merriman MP, who also praised SWR for bringing the rail industry together. 

Dan O’Riordan, Head of Security and Safety Assurance at South Western Railway, commented: “The railway industry has a duty of care to keep all our customers and colleagues safe, whenever they are on the network. 

“Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, which is why I’m so pleased that we have hosted the railway’s first national safeguarding conference, bringing together people from across the industry and its key partners.  

“By sharing ideas and best practice from all parts of the country, we will be in a better position to tackle shared challenges and make the railway a safer place for everyone.  

“I’m grateful to all the colleagues and partners who attended the event and I hope other train operators will take up our call to host future conferences.” 

Huw Merriman MP, Rail Minister, said: “It’s great to see South Western Railway host the first of what I hope becomes a regular conference, bringing together key players from the rail industry all with a shared goal of improving safety for both rail passengers and workers.

“Events like these are not only important for sharing best practices across the sector but should ultimately lead to better and safer journeys across our rail network too.” 

Earlier this year, SWR revealed it had received the highest possible score of 100% for its SRS reaccreditation, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to protecting its customers and colleagues.  

Following the successful reaccreditation, SWR announced its intention to host the conference, cementing its national leadership on safeguarding issues. 

Speaking at the conference, Andy McCullough, Safeguarding on Rail assessor for BTP, identified SWR as a “standard bearer” for the SRS. Andy is also a former Safeguarding Director for the Railway Children charity. 

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