The operating phase

In the operating phase, the FOT monitors the transport operators to check whether they have made all the necessary provisions to ensure safe and reliable operations and whether these safety regulations are being observed. To do so, the FOT requires the operators to submit status and incident reports in the event of any unforeseen occurrence or development on their rail network . It also carries out audits and operating inspections. These supervisory activities provide various information, such as whether an operator has set up a functioning and effective safety management system. FOT staff also conduct risk-focused spot checks to examine individual vehicles or parts of the infrastructure (e.g. goods trains, bridges, electrical installations etc.) in terms of their operating safety. Operating procedures, including the interplay of humans and technology in rail operations , may also come under inspection: shunting operations, train preparations and adherence to the Workhours Act, for instance, may all be checked. If such investigations reveal that the relevant safety provisions are not being observed, the FOT will require the operator to rectify these faults by a set deadline. If the operator fails to comply with these demands, the FOT will issue sanctions, which may extend as far as withdrawing its operating licence.