Monday, July 20, 2009

RTA establishes units to oversee safety & protection of Dubai Metro

RTA establishes units to oversee safety & protection of Dubai Metro

H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has approved a system where Safety Regulation and Planning Dep't at RTA's Strategy & Corporate Governance Sector will oversee the safety and protection of trains in Dubai as a step to ensure the safety of all rail users & rail employees in the emirate.
"This step is part of continuous initiatives launched by the RTA to raise the profile of infrastructure facilities in the emirate of Dubai, headed by Dubai Metro, to the highest levels of safety. The new system puts Dubai Metro under the umbrella of an effective and integrated transport planning system in the emirate of Dubai. The system also includes establishing & assessing technical standards & rail safety, developing & evaluating safety rules of rail operators, investigating rail accidents, and protecting all rail properties in the emirate from the risks associated with activities in the neighbourhood" said Al Tayer.
He added: "According to the new system, two separate organizational units have been established. One of them will attend to transport planning, setting technical standards, and protecting trains, while the other will oversee the safety of trains and related operational processes. Upon completion of successful assessment of safety by RTA specialist safety personnel, RTA will issue certification to the company operating Dubai Metro covering safety position and operational safety. RTA will deploy a team of inspectors to enforce the implementation of safety standards once Dubai Metro starts operation, and will also be ready to cope with emergency cases.
Al Tayer further added: "Safety Regulation and Planning Dep't will discharge these tasks at the highest international standards applicable in rail industry. Safety assessment standards have been developed in coordination with Office of Rail Regulation in the UK. RTA had also engaged with world-class safety consultants boasting rich experience in framing up Dubai Metro Safety Standards.
"Rail Agency will protect all properties of Dubai Metro through close monitoring & surveillance of all activities that might cause damage to Dubai Metro properties. The Agency is entitled to issue orders to stop activities which pose danger to Dubai Metro or rail properties, serve violators with notices to comply with safety requirements, and issue them with offence tickets " continued Al Tayer.
It is note-worthy that in the second quarter of 2008 RTA established an independent department called "Safety Regulation and Planning Department" under Strategy & Corporate Governance Sector and tasked it with key four tasks: planning & policies; covering developing policies and legislations related to health, safety and environment, and drawing up plans & procedures related to health, safety & environment in accordance with the best global standards. It also outlines the objectives and KPIs of health, safety & environment, develops rail transport safety standards, prepares databases of lessons learned from accidents, compiles annual safety reports, and ensures carrying out studies & development researches with the aim to improving safety.
RTA has also established two Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE) departments at Traffic & Roads Agency and Rail Agency, besides QHSE offices established in the rest of RTA agencies. This underscores RTA intention to enhance safety measures at all projects and transportation systems undertaken by the RTA using specialized work manuals and in accordance with a well-defined technical methodology.

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