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Professional Head of Occupational Health and Safety

About the team

The Rail Safety and Standards Board is the independent safety, standards and research body for Great Britain’s rail network. We help to make an evolving railway safer, more efficient and more sustainable. We manage a research programme; collect, collate and analyse data; and develop standards for the railway across Great Britain. We deliver standards, information and guidance for all aspects of railway operations, as well as health and wellbeing, sustainability, infrastructure and rolling stock asset integrity, customer satisfaction, performance, and safety. Through our Affiliation programme we also make some of that information and guidance available to overseas organisations and other industries.

The role

The Professional Head of Occupational Health and Safety is a new role within the Systems Safety and Health Directorate. The role defines and leads our work on the management of occupational health and safety risk across all types of workers in the rail industry. They provide leadership on the occupational health and safety to the industry and lead collaboration across the industry to deliver the goals of the Rail Health and Safety Strategy. A member of the System Safety and Health Directorate leadership team, they will define and deliver critical programmes of work drawing on the capabilities across RSSB.

The role will involve:

  • Providing professional leadership in all aspects of occupational health and safety across the rail workforce.
  • Leading the strategy, planning and work of the industry occupational health and safety risk groups and associated sub-groups. This will include leading technical project work, and supporting the research programme and the development of standards.
  • Leading transformation for members and clients to embed new approaches and digital solutions.
  • Developing the commercial offering in occupational health and safety, securing and delivering commercial work which supplements our core membership activity.

Key responsibilities

  • Spearhead industry thinking on occupational health and safety, setting industry strategy and providing advice as a trusted subject matter expert in the UK and internationally.
  • Direct the development and delivery of relevant risk intelligence insights identifying and making the case for strategic work to address industry risk.
  • Define the need for industry occupational health and safety groups putting in place suitable structures
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with industry occupational health and safety groups and sub-group chairs and industry partners building consensus and collaboration to deliver the Rail Health and Safety Strategy.
  • Set the vision and objectives for the industry occupational health and safety risk groups and their sub-groups, ensuring there is a clear agreed roadmap of work aligned to the Rail Health and Safety Strategy.
  • Secure funding and resources from RSSB and external funding sources to enable the delivery of collaborative and commercial work.
  • Supervise the development and delivery of projects and digital transformation programmes working with direct reports, RSSB and member colleagues to deliver tangible and sustained change.
  • Promote the RHSS across the industry as the champion and recognised industry lead on occupational health and safety.
  • Define and develop new products and services (offerings) aligned to market demand.
  • Lead the development of compelling technical proposals with business development colleagues, to secure and deliver commercial work in occupational health and safety.
  • Ensure all work meets assurance standards and the intended benefits of projects and programmes are delivered.
  • Maintain beneficial contact with risk and safety professionals in other industries and countries to ensure that RSSB adopts and shares best practice.



  • Expertise in occupational health and safety in the rail industry applying specialist knowledge as required.
  • A degree qualification or equivalent vocational qualification/technical training in a relevant area.
  • Membership of a relevant professional body working towards Chartership.
  • Experience defining and leading material change (such as digital transformation, organisational, process or systems change) with demonstrable benefits.
  • Experience of implementing, managing or auditing occupational health and safety systems compliant with ISO 45001.
  • Experience in prioritising and delivering significant projects and activities to cost, quality and timescale.
  • Experience of developing capabilities and leading teams of multidisciplinary technical experts, establishing clear objectives and monitoring outcomes.
  • Experience of analysing and succinctly presenting complex ideas, strategies and options to senior stakeholders including negotiation and agreement on key issues.
  • Commitment to customer service and placing customer satisfaction at the heart of our success to ensure we deliver against our shared goals.
  • Incorporate an inclusive leadership style, developing and retaining talent and constructively challenging habits and assumptions whilst remaining inclusive and ensuring everyone is heard.
  • Act and make decisions based on a good understanding of the current and future needs of the organisation to perform to a high standard and focus on delivering outcomes.
  • Positively communicates and delivers with impact and influence.


  • Chartered Membership of a relevant professional body.
  • Experience of risk management, risk analysis and risk assessment.
  • Knowledge of safety management and UK safety requirements.

We are committed to investing in our staff and offer formal and informal learning opportunities for development.

We value diversity and equal opportunities in employment and are committed to creating a workplace which is inclusive to everyone. As a member of the Disability Confident Scheme, we encourage candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria, to apply for our jobs. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme, please let us know in advance by emailing vacancies@RSSB.CO.UK

If you require any reasonable adjustments with respect to our selection process including information in an alternative format, please contact us at

 We understand the importance of work-life balance and we offer our staff the flexibility to work within our core hours and the option to vary their location between both the office and home. If you are looking for further flexibility, speak to us at interview stage so that we can consider your request.

 We value our staff and we offer a competitive benefits package to ensure our staff can achieve their best throughout their journey with us. This includes 30 days annual leave (plus bank holidays); a holiday buy and sell scheme; private medical and dental cover; a season ticket loan and travel subsidy; access to a cycle to work scheme; volunteer leave; a performance related bonus and pension.

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