Interviews with the RAIB
What are the RAIB powers?
The powers of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and its Inspectors - and the framework for reporting and investigating accidents - are set out in the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 and the Railways (Accident Investigation and Reporting) Regulations 2005.
The RAIB Inspectors have the power to:
- Enter railway property, land or vehicles;
- Seize anything relating to the accident and make records;
- Require access to and disclosure of records and information; and
- Require people to answer questions and provide information about anything relevant to the investigation
Advice to ASLEF members on being interviewed by RAIB
ASLEF have been assured by RAIB, that the sole purpose of any interview is to provide the RAIB Inspector with a record of what you saw of the accident or know of the events leading up to it. The details you give will only be used by the RAIB in its own investigation.
Individuals can, if they wish, have someone else with at the interview for emotional support.
ASLEF would recommend that you contact your District Organiser immediately that you are informed that a RAIB Inspector wants to interview you. If you cannot reach your District Organiser, then try and contact a Company Council Rep/Local Level Rep or Health and Safety Rep.
It must be noted that any person who accompanies a Member being interviewed by a RAIB Inspector will not be allowed to take part in the interview. They are allowed to take notes, if you want them to.
There is, however, no need for you to have anyone else present if you do not want to. It is your choice.
What about my confidentiality?
The RAIB's investigations are entirely independent from any industry or judicial investigations, and are focused solely on safety improvement.
By law, the RAIB must not at any time disclose to anyone else, including the police, HM Railway Inspectorate (HMRI), your employer or any other enforcing authority, personal details about you in connection with any information that you give us in your statement, unless we are compelled to do so by a Court Order.
ASLEF has been informed that since 1915 when the Air Accident Investigation Branch was launched, and later with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, only one Court Order has been granted.
If you have any concerns about this, the RAIB Inspector will be happy to explain in more detail before your interview begins.
What happens after my interview?
The RAIB Inspector will make an audio recording or take notes of the interview. If you are able to provide information that the RAIB considers relevant to the investigation, a written summary will be prepared. You will then be provided with a copy of the written summary, which will usually be sent to you by post. You will be asked to sign the written summary as being an accurate record of your interview, and then return it to the RAIB.