How SMRT mitigates risks of human error, equipment failure

SMRT thanks Mr Goh Yang Miang for his letter (“Train disruptions: Human error, equipment failure not root causes”; Monday).

We agree that a systematic approach to address track and train faults is needed to ensure the safety and reliability of the MRT system.

We do have a system of procedural checks, engineering controls and periodic audits in place, but we acknowledge that improvements can be made.

Each investigation we conduct looks into the root causes, a number of which have been carefully listed in Mr Goh’s letter.

We assure him that beyond these investigations, we make it a priority to ensure that our systems and processes are robust enough to mitigate the risks of human error and equipment failure.

To mitigate the risk of human error in operations and maintenance, we intend to reinforce human factor training for all our staff.

We will also enhance staff engagement to bring about an open reporting culture among our workforce, and to better understand why errors are committed by staff.

To mitigate the risk of equipment failure, we have started moving our maintenance regime beyond corrective and preventive maintenance to include predictive maintenance.

We have implemented monitoring and tracking systems and processes to help identify potential technical issues before they cause service disruptions.

A traditional preventive maintenance regime relies on fixed inspection intervals to detect impending material failures.

With new sensor technology implemented on service trains, we can now collect data on

track conditions and predict required maintenance interventions in a timelier manner.

We have installed some sensors on our tracks and trains to enable early detection of track and train faults. There has been some early success.

To guide us in our journey towards excellence in rail engineering, we will adopt the ISO 55001 standard to benchmark our technical competencies, engineering systems and processes in managing rail infrastructure and assets.

We have also recently formed a technical advisory panel, comprising local and international experts, to help us raise our operational performance standards.

Regardless of whether it is human error or equipment failure, the management in SMRT Trains accepts responsibility for incidents of service disruptions, and we are committed to delivering safe and reliable train services to all our commuters.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our commuters while we work hard to nurse our rail network back to good health.

Lee Ling Wee

Executive Vice-President,

SMRT Trains

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