Systemic factors in the investigation of railway occurrences in South Africa

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Jessica Hutchings, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

This research aims to investigate why railway occurrences remain high in South Africa, despite railway Operators investigating occurrences. Internationally there is a large amount of literature available relating to railway accidents, however very little research has been conducted in the field of Human Factors and its role in the railway industry in South Africa. The South African Railway Safety Regulator states that the general safety performance of the railways has not improved given the current safety trends. This research focuses on the railway system and how the hierarchy of the system may be contributing systemically to railway occurrences. Systems Engineering and Human Factors theory served as the primary literature sources.

The research question proposed in this study is if railway operators are investigating railway occurrences, then why are the numbers not reducing?

Therefore the hypothesis proposes that perhaps it is the manner in which occurrences are investigated, and if not done thoroughly and rigorously, could be contributing to a recurrence.

Date & time

7-8 June 2016

NCTL Learning and Conference Centre, Nottingham

What is a Complex System?

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