Risks associated with the station platforms. The behavior of the passengers


The risks inherent in the movement and passage of passengers on the station platforms are known. A key way to reduce these risks is to understand how passengers behave and interact in the rail environment. What factors influence your behavior and decision making? Being clear about these concepts helps the Railway Administrations to create specific strategies to reduce unsafe behavior and conditions on the platforms.

How do passengers act on the platforms?

No doubt about what When considering how to keep passengers safe, it is important to consider the passenger's perspective and put yourself "in their shoes."

Passengers cannot and should not be expected to understand the operation of the railway and all risks to the same extent as railway personnel. In fact, passengers may have quite a different view of the railroad, depending on their travel experiences to and from their destinations. A very simple example: there is a belief that all train doors work in a similar way to elevator doors, thinking that the doors of any train will open automatically when something is trapped between them. 

Passengers tend to perceive risk differently than rail risk analysis professionals, because for most people who travel on the rail it has been and will be safe. Some behaviors that can increase risk on the sidewalks are, in fact, considered socially acceptable. This is probably because they are seen or done on many occasions without incident and, in some cases, may be considered necessary. Examples include running along the platform to catch the train and waiting for the train to arrive too close to the edge of the platform.

The behaviors we observe on platforms are often the result of decisions and actions taken before the passenger reaches the platform itself. This means that there are often a number of possibilities to influence the behavior of passengers before they reach the platform. We must think about the entire passenger journey to fully understand behaviors and decision-making:

Taking this approach will help reveal many different opportunities to influence passenger behavior and decision before they hit the platform.

What kind of incidents can occur on the platforms?

Platform incidents can occur when there is a train and when there is not. In fact, the level of risk for both situations is usually approximately the same. However, the types of incidents are different. 

When there's a train on the plaftorm
When there's a train on the plaftorm
When there is no train on the plaftorm
When there is no train on the plaftorm

What behaviors can increase the risk on the platforms?

Although as we see, the types of incidents are different, there is a common set of known behaviors that can increase the risk of these incidents. The most common behaviors to Keep in mind among passengers include:

  • being too close to the edge of the platform
  • adopt postures that do not ensure stability on the floor of the passenger
  • appear distracted or show a lack of awareness of their surroundings
  • seem confused or lost in the station or on the platform
  • late boarding or disembarking when train doors close
  • search or retrieve an object near the edge of the platform
  • lean on the train
  • play or run on the platform
  • suffer some kind of difficultyd physics to move luggage

How do the different passengers behave on the platforms?

Each passenger has a unique set of characteristics, which drives their behavior and decision making. Some appear to be more associated with platform incidents than others (listed below). It is important to understand the type of passengers that use the rail service, so that initiatives can be created to improve safety according to the type of passenger.

How does the accessibility regulations affect the risks to passengers on the station platforms?

Another important aspect that must be taken into account in order to try to mitigate the possible appearance of risks that affect passengers on the platforms, is the regulatory framework that is applicable from the point of view of accessibility.

In this case, within the railway field we can find a wide range of possibilities starting with the ETI for people with disabilities and reduced mobility (EU Regulation No. 1300/2014) So like all the regulations associated with this Regulation.

In Spain, RD 1544/2007 also establishes conditions for the design of accessibility in passenger stations, however, from the point of view of interoperability and the rail system in the EU, the TSI plays an essential role

From the point of view of security, the impositions made by this regulatory framework in terms of infrastructure make it possible to demand a quality standard for elements that are considered too obvious and that, on occasions, are overlooked. To consider an example, the parameter of floor slipperiness , collected by the ETI and its Application Guide, must be considered directly linked to passenger safety. This is extendable to many other requirements reaching the conclusion of what and accessibility is an important part of security.

How do we reduce the risks and accidents associated with the platforms? We present a set of tips and recommendations associated with the platforms:

  • Identify and eliminate tripping hazards, keeping the surface antisliding on the platform, using colored and tactile stripes (systems haptics) for hazard warning.
  • Air conditioning of the facilities.
  • Control through access systems the maximum number of passengers that can access a platform.
  • Ensure good visibility on platforms to discourage passengers from leaning over the edge to see the train's arrival.
  • Creation, at station or platform level, plans for emergency situations, as well as special events.
  • Ensure the necessary communication that may exist between station and / or platform personnel and personnel on board the train.
  • Ensure that temporary or permanent changes to the platforms due to maintenance or works have an associated communication plan.
  • Increase the presence of control and information personnel when large groups of passengers are expected or passengers who, by its characteristic, they can generate risks on the platforms.
  • Present regular, timely, accurate and clear information to the traveler.
  • Use dynamic information on train capacity, which can be beneficial for passengers with luggage or packages such as strollers.
  • Audit and optimize orientation information at stations, platforms and trains, to reduce movement errors and, therefore, rush (signaling) and redundant movements on platforms.
  • Provide specific information for disabled passengers and / or with reduced mobility.
  • Have qualified personnel at stations and platforms who actively identify people who need help and offer assistance, as well as inform and encourage passengers to act in a desirable way (for example, not to generate accumulations on platforms when there are clearer areas) .
  • Educate passengers about the risks on the platforms to through from different channels: customer information screens, posters, school visits, website, phone notifications mobile, etc.
  • Use the station furniture and the platforms themselves, as well as the accesses to them, so as to ensure that the travelers are distributed throughout the platform.

At Leedeo Engineering , we are specialists in the development of RAMS projects, supporting RAM and Safety tasks at any level required, and both at the infrastructure or on-board equipment level.

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