On 4 April, 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Frank Brenner, the Director General of EUROCONTROL and Josef Doppelbauer, the Executive Director of the European Union Agency for Railways. The Memorandum covers closer cooperation between the Agencies to enhance aviation and railway safety, in particular on promoting Just Culture by using joint courses, seminars and workshops.
Frank Brenner commented “Establishing a Just Culture is vital for making sure that safety-related events and incidents are properly and openly reported so that we can learn from them. There is a real benefit for both aviation and railways to work together, for example with prosecutors, to spread the message about what Just Culture is and what its benefits are.”
Josef Doppelbauer said “We are delighted to work together with EUROCONTROL to promote Just Culture. Improving safety today means learning not just from accidents, which are rare, but also from any incident or event which demonstrates a weakness in the system. Everyone in the industry needs to feel supported and encouraged to come forward and share their experience.”
Under a ‘Just Culture’ individuals are not blamed for ‘honest errors’ but are held accountable for wilful violations and gross negligence. It promotes an atmosphere of trust in which people are encouraged to provide safety-related information and it supports learning from unsafe acts. Key to its implementation is not only the approach of management but also the legal response to ‘honest errors’.
From left: Frank Brenner, Director General of EUROCONTROL and Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA).