HOW DOES STS AND THE SYSTEMS THINKING APPROACH APPLY TO RAIL LEVEL CROSSING COLLISIONS?

The research programme described in this book involved applying systems thinking and sociotechnical systems theory and methods, in an integrated manner, to rail level crossing system analysis and design. When considered together in this manner, the systems thinking and sociotechnical systems theory approaches provide three key assertions that demand a different approach to rail level crossing safety:

  • 1. All sociotechnical system comprise a series of hierarchical levels containing multiple actors and organisations that are co-responsible for safety.
  • 2. Accidents are systems phenomena involving multiple interacting contributory factors, and these factors emerge and reside across the different hierarchical levels.
  • 3. The attainment of safe and efficient systems requires joint optimisation of human and technical elements.

The application of these assertions to the rail level crossing system is discussed in Sections 1.3.1 and 1.3.2.

 
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