Safety and approval procedures

We optimise safety case processes. Reliably.

One major challenge in all areas of the rail system is to ensure a high level of safety with the minimum effort for manufacturers, operators and the approval authorities. Approval procedures for control and safety systems and for railway technology are very complex. The actors have to implement all the specifications defined in European regulations. The continuous improvement of approval procedures serves to maintain and optimise the high level of safety of the railway system and to lower the cost of these procedures.

The safety of the railway system depends on the reliability both of its technical components, and – particularly during non-routine operations – of the human operator. DIN EN 50126-1 in fact specifies that the importance of human factors should be taken into account when looking at reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS). However, it does not offer any detailed methodology. That is why the Institute of Transportation Technology at DLR is developing new methods for analysing human reliability in rail transport. These methods are based on cognitive psychological evidence on how errors occur and are yet designed to be easily applied in the railway sector.

In interdisciplinary teams, we develop innovative concepts and methods for efficient safety cases. Moreover, we develop models for the integration of the factor human reliability into the assess-ment of hazard rates. Using both proprietary and standard methods, we provide support to our clients, acting as verifiers, validators or consultants in projects concerning the development of level crossing protection systems, railway technology, and control and safety technology. Our portfolio comprises methods for a comprehensive safety assessment according to standards CENELEC EN 5012x and IEC 61508, as well as accident cause analyses, approval procedure support (including cross acceptance), and assistance in the implementation of CSM Regulation 352/2009.

Another focus of our activities, in addition to approval procedures and the development of efficient safety cases, is the design of safe technical systems. This refers first and foremost to innovative level crossing protection systems. In this area, we design concepts and technical solutions for a safer, better rail system.