Guidelines

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European Union Agency For Railways  Safety Alerts IT tool guidelines

(Version 1.2., last updated 09.09.2016)

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide new users with some basic information about the European Union Agency For Railways (hereinafter “Agency”) Safety Alerts IT tool (hereinafter “SAIT”).

SAIT

SAIT is a secure website which grants registered users the ability to share information quickly about safety risks relating to defects of technical equipment between the European railway actors.

Who should report?

SAIT is for railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, entities in charge of maintenance and all other actors (not including national or state bodies and authorities), including manufacturers, maintenance suppliers, keepers, service providers, contracting entities, carriers, consignors, consignees, loaders, unloaders, fillers and unfillers.

Only employees or agents of one of the above mentioned categories of organisations, will be granted access to the SAIT. Organisations may request as many user accounts as they require. Organisations should make their own internal arrangements for authorizing staff to publish, comment and receive safety alerts.

What to report?

Users should report information about hazards that, in their own judgement and in accordance with the policies of their own organisation:

  • Relate to defects and construction non-conformities or malfunctions of technical equipment, including those of structural subsystems

  • The hazard, event or information is novel or unexpected and therefore the related risk is likely to be poorly controlled

  • The related risk, if not controlled, has the potential to lead to an accident or incident involving serious injury or 1 or more fatalities

  • The related risk is relevant for more than 1 actor

Where to report?

SAIT can be found at the following web address: https://safetyalerts.era.europa.eu/safetyalerts

SAIT is overseen by Agency. SAIT was developed, is hosted and day to day support is provided by Directorate-General for Informatics of the European Commission (DIGIT).

When to report?

As soon as possible after detection of the defect, including out of business hours.

Why to report?

Reporting safety alerts using SAIT supports compliance with the Article 4 paragraph 5 of the Recast of Railway Safety Directive[1] which states that:

“Railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and any actor … who identifies or is informed of a safety risk relating to defects and construction non-conformities or malfunctions of technical equipment, including those of structural subsystems, shall, within the limits of their respective competence:

(a)  take any necessary corrective measure to tackle the safety risk identified;

(b) report those risks to the relevant parties involved, in order to enable them to take any necessary further corrective action to ensure continuous achievement of the safety performance of the Union rail system.”

Moreover, it supports other legal obligations imposed on railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and entities in charge of maintenance in both the CSM on Monitoring[2] and the ECM regulation[3].

Use of SAIT is voluntary for relevant railway actors, as long as railway actors can fulfil these legal obligations to the satisfaction of NSAs in some way. Clearly, the more European railway actors are registered to use SAIT, the more likely reporting into the tool will fulfil the legal requirements.

Roles: who can do what?

Two main roles exist within SAIT. The following is a brief explanation of each role:

Notifying User’ of any safety alert is the person who issues a safety alert. He or she is responsible for:

  • the decision to publish a safety alert,

  • the content of the safety alert,

  • compliance with the Terms of Use and these guidelines,

  • any decision to edit or to unpublish the safety alert.

Commenting User’ of any safety alert is the person who comments on a safety alert. He or she is responsible for:

  • the decision to comment on safety alert,

  • the content of the comment,

  • compliance with the Terms of Use and these guidelines,

  • any decision to edit or to reply to the comment.

Language

Safety alerts and comments should be reported in English in order for other users to understand the content. However, users could use the layout of the SAIT and reportable taxonomy in their own language. At the moment only English, French and German languages are available.

How to register?

  1. Go to https://safetyalerts.era.europa.eu/safetyalerts

  2. Click "EU login/ register"

  3. Create an "EU login" account

  4. Go to https://safetyalerts.era.europa.eu/safetyalerts

  5. Click "EU login/ register"

  6. Login with your EU login account

  7. Fill your profile with required information

  8. You will be notified by e-mail when the validation process of your account will be done

How to report/amend a safety alert?

  1. Go to https://safetyalerts.era.europa.eu/safetyalerts

  2. Click "EU login/ register"

  3. Login with your EU login account information

  4. Check the existing safety alerts

Before submitting a safety alert, check (to avoid any unnecessary duplication) that the event or hazard has not already been notified through the SAIT by another user. You can do it by using search functionality by keywords, country, and date of defect and associated systems at the home page of SAIT or by reviewing the list of safety alerts. If the safety alert has already been notified, rather than creating a new safety alert, you should submit a comment to the existing safety alert and provide any additional information that may be relevant for users in other Member States.

      6. Click “Add new alert”

      7. Fill required information:

  • Title of the alert

Give a brief description of the defect. The title should be capable of briefly identifying and explaining the issue to other users, so try to say something specific and distinctive.

  • Geographical location

Define the geographical location in the country at which the defect occurred by pinning the “marker" to the map. Use as much detail as appropriate.

  • Associated systems

Select from the list the subsystem that, in your opinion, the defect most closely relates to. At the moment[1], if you select rolling stock, you need to submit some additional information, including:

  • European vehicle number

  • Vehicle owner

  • Vehicle keeper

  • Manufacturer of vehicle

  • Manufacturer of component (if applicable)

Define the corresponding manufacture of component (e.g. windows), if applicable and it is different from manufacture of the vehicle.

  • Serial number of component (if applicable)

  • Entity in charge of maintenance

  • Vehicle in

To report when the defect was identified: during operation, maintenance of vehicle or select N/A (not applicable) for any other cases.

For the other systems, you need to submit the following additional information:

  • Serial number of constituent

Enter the unique serial number of the defective constituent/component or any other element allowing its identification (code, type, batch, etc.).

  • Manufacturer

  • Status

To report when the defect was identified: during operation, maintenance of subsystem/constituent/component or select N/A (not applicable) for any other cases.

  • Use being made of the technical equipment

Describe accurately how the subsystem or constituent/component was being operated or maintained at the time of the defect. This is particularly relevant is you consider the defect could be related to the operational or maintenance history. This information may help others, including manufacturers, to manage the associated risk.

  • Description of defect or non-conformity/malfunctions of technical equipment

Enter as much detail in this field as appropriate to define the nature of the defect. In particular, is this an individual occurrence, or has it been detected on several vehicles or subsystems (equipped for instance with the same component)? However, if the manufacturers of the components are different, please consider raising separate safety alerts.

  • Upload a relevant file or photo

Add documents and pictures to the safety alert. Remember, you are trying to provide other users with all the information they might need to understand and manage the associated risks themselves.  It is possible to come back and complete/add to this (and any other) stage later, even after it has been published. At the moment you can only upload one file. Next version will consider to upload more than 1.

  • Did you contact-report to the directly relevant parties involved in the issue?

Keep in mind, that all the relevant parties may not be registered in the SAIT. Thus, even if you report the safety alert in SAIT, you may also need to contact directly any parties you know of who are affected by the associated risk as well.

  • Action taken

Explain what action your company has taken to manage the risk associated with this defect, particularly where this information could help others managing the same risk.  Again, you can return to the alert and add more information here later.

  • Cross-border implications. If yes, describe

This could mean railway undertakings or infrastructure managers operating in other Member States, but also suppliers, manufacturers, maintainers etc. with customers in other Member States.

  • I wish to raise the alert to the attention of the Join Network Secretariat

In brief, the Joint Network Secretariat is a platform to allow European authorities and sector actors to discuss and agree managing identified risks in a harmonized way. You can find more information about the rules and procedures.

  • Alert status

Choose the appropriate option: save the safety alert as a draft or publish it to the SAIT.

Submitted information within safety alert should be as complete and correct as possible. Where the required information is not available when a safety alert is submitted, you can save it as a draft in the system. Once the missing information becomes available, you should edit the safety alert draft and publish it or if it was published, edit it. Remember, other actors will not know about the risk you have identified until you publish an alert, so try to complete and publish your alert as soon as possible.

       8. Read the Terms of use and click “Save”.

       9. Your alert is by default saved as draft and is not online. To publish it, please select the option 'published' under the 'Alert status' tab or after the saving the draft.

      10. If you want to edit published safety alert, click on safety alert and choose “New draft”, fill new/updated information, click “Save” and choose publish by clicking “Apply”.

      11. If you want to unpublish (delete/hide) a safety alert, click on the safety alert and click “Unpublish this revision”.

      12. All draft alerts, which are not published are stored under “My Account->View section under My draft (unpublished alerts)”.


[1] We are working on creating a link to the European Centralised Virtual Vehicle Register

How to submit/edit a comment to a safety alert?

  1. Go to https://safetyalerts.era.europa.eu/safetyalerts

  2. Click "EU login/ register"

  3. Login with your EU login account information

  4. Check the existing safety alerts by search functionality or review the list of safety alerts on the home page

  5. Click on the safety alert you are interested in

  6. Add new comment

  7. If you want to edit your comment, click “edit”, fill new/updated information and click “Save”.

  8. Guidance on useful comments

Follow-up measures taken by you in response to safety alerts may be useful for notifying user. Especially, if you are using the same or similar technical equipment. Also, you should comment the safety alert if you seek clarification or more information about the safety alert from the notifying user.

Comments attached to safety alert are visible as long as the safety alert is published.

Crowd sourced risk assessments

When the safety alert is published, you can submit your own basic risk assessment:

  • Severity: insignificant, marginal, critical

  • Frequency: improbable, probable, frequent

You should estimate the risk for your own organization and activities.  Users can view the aggregate of other assessments by clicking on “Voting results”.  Your assessment will be anonymous – it will not be possible to trace your assessment back to you. This function is intended to provide some basic support to users, but cannot replace your own risk assessment according to your Safety Management System, the Common Safety Method for Risk Assessment[5] or other applicable requirements. If this function is useful, further versions of the tool could support reporting the crowd risk assessment by types of actor or Member State.

How to manage subscriptions?

  1. Go to https://safetyalerts.era.europa.eu/safetyalerts

  2. Click "EU login/register"

  3. Login with your EU login account information

  4. Click “My account”

  5. Click “Subscriptions”

  6. Select your own filters to target/stop your notifications. By default you will be notified about all new alerts.

How to delete user account

  1. Go to https://safetyalerts.era.europa.eu/safetyalerts

  2. Login with your EU login account information

  3. Click “My account”

  4. Click “Delete my account”

  5. Select “Delete”.

Management of requests of users for withdrawal of safety alerts/comments and complaints

We hope that no serious disagreements arise involving you and others in relation to the information on the content of a safety alerts and/or the comments related to them. However, in the event there is a dispute, we encourage you to seek resolution amicably with the other party(ies) involved in such dispute. If the disputes are solved between users, the user will edit/withdraw the safety alert or comment (not the Agency). The same applies to court decisions, unless the court requests directly the Agency to withdraw safety alert from the SAIT.

If you want to request for permanent/temporal withdrawal of safety alert/comment or submit other complaint related to SAIT, you need to submit it to safetyalerts@era.europa.eu or by “Contact” form on the website.

The Agency will analyse the request and try to resolve it. Following criteria’s will be considered during the analysis of the request for withdrawal of safety alerts/comments and complaints:

  1. Safety Alert is the subject of court proceedings and a court order is issued for removal of all or part of the information from SAIT.

  2. User breaches the Terms of Use and in particular:

  3. User is not an employee or agent of one of the following categories of organisations: railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, entities in charge of maintenance, manufacturers, maintenance suppliers, keepers, and service providers, contracting entities, carriers, consignors, consignees, loaders, unloaders, fillers, unfillers or any other actor referred to Article 4 paragraph 5[1] of Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on railway safety (Recast).

  4. User was not authorized on that organisation’s behalf to post and receive alerts from SAIT.

  5. User’s ECAS account was stolen and/or misused by third party to act on that user behalf.

  6. User defames, abuses, harasses, stalk, threatens or otherwise violates the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of other users.

  7. User publishes, posts, uploads, distributes or disseminates any inappropriate, profane, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent or unlawful topic, name, material or information.

  8. User uploads files that contain software or other material protected by intellectual property laws (or by rights of privacy of publicity);

  9. User uploads files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another's computer or IT system.

    If your request will be refused and you seek to file a legal claim against Agency, you agree to file and resolve it exclusively before the Court of justice of the European Union. You also agree that the laws of the European Union, complemented, where necessary, by the law of France will govern Terms of Use, as well as any legal claim that might arise between you and us (without reference to conflict of laws principles).

    To ensure that disputes are dealt with soon after they arise, you agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action you might have arising out of or related to use of the SAIT or Terms of Use must be filed within latest one (1) year after the pertinent facts underlying such claim or cause of action could have been discovered with reasonable diligence (or be forever barred).

SAIT helpdesk

Help on specific steps in the process of using SAIT and other questions is available at safetyalerts@era.europa.eu or through the Contact form which is available on the SAIT website.

Application feedback

Your opinion is important for us. Please, send us feedback of this guidance and SAIT, especially any bug reports, change requests, suggestions for improvement of the second version of SAIT to safetylalerts@era.europa.eu or through the Contact form which is available on the SAIT website.

Revision of the guidelines

This guidelines will be reviewed by the users, Agency and regularly updated.


[2] CSM on Monitoring (Article 4, especially paragraph 2)

[3] ECM regulation (Art.5(5) and Art.5(2) and its Annex III(I7.4j)

[4] We are working on creating a link to the European Centralised Virtual Vehicle Register

[5] Regulation EU/2015/1136