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Critical Communication Protocol on Railways Under the Spotlight

April 3, 2019

Department of Transport

3 April 2019

Verbal safety critical communication within the railway sector is under the spotlight.

The transport department published the Draft Verbal Safety Critical Communication (VSCC) Protocol in Government Gazette 42337 for comment.

According to the introduction, VSCC is a crucial component of safe railway operations and non-adherence can lead to occurrences such as collisions and signals passed at danger.

The Draft Protocol outlines the “minimum requirements for the management of VSCC, including the framework to be implemented for safety related personnel in the execution of their operational activities”.

It focuses on verbal safety critical communication requirements, verbal safety critical communication protocol outline, general communication requirements and communication barriers.

The Draft Protocol seeks to provide a communication framework for effective VSCCs during railway operations, clarify what safety critical communication is, the procedure for using it and to ensure safe and seamless railway operations, contribute to the reduction of railway occurrences attributable to communication errors and provide a standardised approach to VSCC within railway operations in South Africa.

It is applicable to all railway operations, applicable technologies, processes, procedures, rules, systems, sub-systems, or components that form part of a railway system.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, the department published the Twentieth Amendment of the Civil Aviation Regulations in Gazette 42362.

Amendments focus on competency checks for licence holders, glider pilot licences, medical certificates, subpart 10 on corsia, air carrier security programme, environmental protection, capability list and user fees.