Close Calls

Measuring the reporting of Close Calls

This measure comprises the number of 'Close Calls' that could be any unsafe act or unsafe condition that in different circumstances could have led to an accident or personal injury, or could have resulted in damage to property or equipment, but would not introduce risk to the railway infrastructure.

The number of Close Calls being reported continues to increase every year. There were a total of 259,009 Close Calls raised for the year 2017/18, beating our year-end target of 205,000 close calls reported. An increase in the number of Close Call reports is a positive indicator of our safety culture. Of these, 82.2% per cent were closed within 90 days, against a target of 85 per cent.

Close Call results

Close calls reported Target40,00090,000120,000205,000
Close calls closed (%)
* Target to close within 28 days
** Target to close within 90 days

Note: % Close-out is only recorded for Network Rail Staff only


There have been more reports about unsafe behaviour and complex, systemic issues that require mitigation of risks related to strategy and process. This shows that there has been a significant increase in awareness and reporting.

We continue to focus on the risks identified through close calls by actively reviewing the close calls reported and using these to drive safety conversations which inform corporate level decision making.

Improvements to the Close Calls process have been identified and implemented across the business. For example, we have improved the categorisation of Close Calls so that we can monitor trends and identify hazards to enable mitigation. To reflect feedback from our employees, we have made changes to the mobile application that is used to report close calls.