In October 2012, the European Railway Agency commissioned DNV to identify and analyse existing academic research in the field of risk regulation regimes. A risk regulation regime can be defined as the complex of institutional geography, rules, practice and animating ideas that are associated with the regulation of a certain risk or hazard. The objective of the study was to learn how to make the existing risk regulation regime for the European railways function better. The main focus was on practice, the setting of the regime was of a secondary importance for the study.
During the six month desktop study, DNV identified over 2,000 relevant research cases of which 118 cases were selected for further in-depth analysis. The selected cases represented research on risk regulation in industries such as rail, aerospace, marine, food and medicine and covered findings from the EU, USA, South America, Japan and Australasia.
The analysis identified some good practices within different aspects of those regimes, such as leadership, allocation of responsibilities, competence management, enforcement etc. The basic design of the risk regulation regime for the EU railways is complete, but the study has shown that there are areas in the application of the regime that could benefit from more focus. For example, the study points out the importance of stating, and re-stating, the reasons why the risk regulation regime was put in place. The Agency will use the knowledge identified through this study in its work to assess railway safety in the EU Member States.