Using Bayesian Networks to Model Accident Causation in the UK Railway Industry

  • William Marsh
  • George Bearfield


We describe a method of modelling organisational causes of accidents, using Bayesian Networks. A rigorous method is used to relate interactions within the organisation operating the system to causal factors for accidents. Using examples from a model of the causes of SPAD incidents in the UK railways, we describe how such a model can be used for risk assessment.


Bayesian Network Causal Model Organisational Factor Driver Trainer Radar Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Cullen, The Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry — Part 2 Report, HSE Books, 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Davis L., Downes M. SPAD Report for October 2003. Rail Safety and Standards Boards, November 2003. Available from Scholar
  3. 3.
    Leveson N. A new accident model for engineering safer systems. Safety Science, Elsevier Science Ltd., 2003 (to appear).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Neil M, Fenton N. Building Large Scale Bayesian Networks. Knowledge Engineering Review. 15(3), 257–284, Sept 2000.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Neil M, Fenton N, Forey S and Harris R. Using Bayesian Belief Networks to Predict the Reliability of Military Vehicles, IEE Computing and Control Engineering J 12(1), 11–20, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Neil M., Shaw R., Johnson S., Malcolm B., Donald I., Cheng Qui Xie. Measuring & Managing Culturally Inspired Risk, in Proceedings of the Eleventh Safety-critical System Symposium, Bristol, UK, 4-6 February 2003.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rasmussen J. Risk Management in a Dynamic Society: A Modelling Problem. Safety Science, vol. 27, No. 2/3, Elsevier Science Ltd., 1997, pages 183–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Reason J. Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents. Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 1 84014 105 0, 1997.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sitwell G., Purcell S. Assessment of Investigations into Signals Passed at Danger (SPADs) BL2077 004 — TR06, WS Atkins Rail Limited, June 2001.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wright K., Embrey D. Using the MARS Model for Getting at the Causes of SPADs, Rail Professional, 2000.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Marsh
    • 1
  • George Bearfield
    • 2
  1. 1.RADAR Group, Queen MaryUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Atkins RailEuston TowerLondonUK

Personalised recommendations