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Protocol on Safety-Critical Communication for Railways Drawn Up

March 24, 2020

Department of Transport

A protocol focused on facilitating uniform and seamless verbal safety critical communication (VSCC) within railway operations in South Africa has been drafted.

The transport department published the Determination on Verbal Safety-Critical Communication Protocol in Government Gazette 43110.

The protocol was researched and developed by the Railway Safety Regulator’s Working Group on Verbal Safety Critical Communication.

According to the introduction, the railway industry in South Africa has “seen itself conducting operational activities including verbal communication under normal, abnormal, and degraded modes of working, and during emergency situations”.

Numerous railway occurrences, including collisions and signals passed at danger, have occurred due to non-adherence to VSCC.

The 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”.

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

Meanwhile, the department, in Notice 182, corrected an earlier notice on the amendment of South African Airway’s (SAA) international air service licence.

The latest notice lists the scheduled services to cease effective 29 February 2020.

As from 1 April 2020, SAA will reduce its scheduled services to Zambia – Livingstone to four times per week and will operate scheduled services to Malawi- Blantyre.