Accident Investigation
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Accident Investigation  

The national investigation bodies (NIB) investigate serious accidents on the railways. The Agency works with the NIBs on accident investigation methods, reporting, recommendations and exchange of good practice.

Reporting accidents
Accident investigations in Europe have been reported by the National Investigation Bodies to the Railway Agency. According to the Safety Directive, a national investigation body shall inform ERA within one week after the decision to open an investigation about an accident or incident. The final investigation reports should be submitted within 12 months of the date of the accident. The notifications and the investigation reports are published by ERA in the Public database.

Open and completed NIB accident investigations 2006-2009

Open and completed NIB accident investigations since 2006

Investigation methods
The approach and methods to accident investigation vary between Member States. One of the tasks of the Agency is to facilitate a common understanding of the approach of the Safety Directive within the European Union. Current projects include work on accident causation, safety recommendations and investigator training.

Safety recommendations
The investigation bodies may in their investigation reports address recommendations to the safety authorities or – in special cases – to other bodies or authorities. The safety authority has to respond on measures taken or planned.

The NSAs and the NIBs have jointly developed, with Agency support, guidance on safety recommendations. The Agency has further developed a Safety Information System, to share urgent and important safety relevant information.



Publication date Title
10-05-2012The document is intended as a reference manual for accident investigation bodies to support them both in organisational issues and with investigating accidents and incidents.
08-04-2011This guidance is intended as a reference manual for accident investigation bodies and other parties directly or indirectly concerned with the decision whether or not to investigate accidents and incidents.
15-10-2010The document provides guidance on Annex V of Directive 2004/49/EC
23-07-2010Information and examples to facilitate a common understanding of the handling of safety recommendations from railway accident investigations across the European Union.


  • Michael Rebentisch
    Acting Head of Sector
    +33 (0) 32 70 96 718
    Send email
  • Rob Rumping
    Acting Head of Sector
    +33 3 270 96 785
    Send email