Close Calls

Digitising Close Calls with eviFile's field and Power BI reporting capability.

Executive Summary

The recording, investigation and reporting of Close Calls within infrastructure projects is a fundamental requirement for the entire UK rail network and reporting back to Network Rail and the RSSB is a prerequisite.

eviFile has been working in close collaboration with the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) Alliance Partners, Network Rail, Alstom and SPL to customise its real-time Field-to-Control Room insight solution to provide a single solution that simplifies the complete management and capture of Close Calls.

By using the eviFile digital platform, large-scale rail programmes are able to centralise and consolidate all data across regions, incorporate data from other platforms and workstreams, and provide real-time data into PowerBI to feed directly to the RSSB.


In compliance with Network Rail’s NR/L3/OHS/0046 The Reporting, Investigation and Recording of Safety and Sustainable Development Events and Close Calls within Infrastructure Projects, all contractors and designers working across the UK’s rail network are obligated to report on and manage Close Calls to successful close out. 

A Close Call is defined as anything that has the potential to cause harm or damage, compared with an incident that has already occurred and so reported separately. 

For example, if a trip hazard is spotted it can be reported as a Close Call because someone could trip over it. If someone actually trips because of the hazard, it is then classed as an incident.

Close Calls include the potential to:

  • Harm a person including minor, major injuries, and fatalities

  • Harm the environment and/or protected species

  • Damage railway infrastructure, plant, vehicles, tools, equipment, systems and information

As safety is everyone’s responsibility, contractors, designers and members of the public are obliged to report Close Calls if they see something that could cause harm or damage and where possible follow these three steps and document them.:

  1. Recognise – Could it cause harm or damage?

  2. Respond – What can you do?

  3. Report – Always report Close Calls

The Challenge

Across the rail network, many disparate solutions are used to manage and collect Close Call information ranging from telephone, paper and spreadsheets to individual contractors' bespoke solutions. The data created from these unconnected systems is often inconsistent and doesn’t provide a holistic view of how Close Calls are affecting the running, maintenance or construction renewal of the network.

Moving from traditional processes to a digital approach is a huge cultural shift for the rail industry. Automating close calls streamlines data and communications from the job site, to form a single source of the truth, while providing crucial metrics that enable agile decision-making immediately.

eviFile’s goal was to design and establish the close call standard, including reporting outputs and data format, to provide one single industry-wide solution that could be used by all.

The Solution

eviFile designed a Close Call workstream as an add-on to their basic digital data collection and reporting platform. to capture, manage and report on close calls across the UK rail network.

The solution can be accessed by anyone, instantly, by simply scanning a QR code using any mobile device or computer, ensuring that the right information is logged about the close call, the first time.

The solution allows any volume of close calls to be raised without any cost. It collects all the Close Calls data, enabling easy viewing and reports through the H&S teams. Email notifications are also triggered to ensure key stakeholders are always aware of specific Close Calls.

Close Calls can then be fully investigated, actions allocated to designated users and tracked through to resolution, which can be documented using encrypted, digital evidence (data / photo / video) in the eviFile Close Call solution. The platform provides visibility into the progress and volumes of close calls through the embedded Power BI reports and Control Room Dashboard. This Field to Control room reporting approach ensures that everyone who needs to access Close Calls data gets the right information at the right time.

The platform also geo-tags and plots incidents on a map to capture key data points for every close call enabling analysis on key patterns to provide preventative action.
eviFile tracks all Close Calls by location with geo-tags providing a map view for all registered users
By using eviFile, engineers and site managers are able to collect and process data in a clear, concise way, which further facilitates the use of business intelligence to feed the management team the information they require without any close call actions required

One key benefit is that RSSB reporting and data outputs are done through the push of a button - a major step forward and immense time saver for the whole rail network.

The eviFile Close Call solution is forecast to process and manage over 12,000 close calls by the end of 2023, with this number set to increase dramatically as the new TRU contract enables over 1,200 users to manage all site and track works digitally.

Real-time Close Call dashboards, reporting on Type, Category, Suppliers and Role, for relevant stakeholders


Over the course of the pilot program, adoption and engagement with the digital solution resulted in significant reductions in time, which provided a clear return on investment (ROI) for TRU.

By using the eviFile digital platform, the large-scale Close Call programme was able to centralise and consolidate all data across regions, incorporating data from other platforms and workstreams to provide real-time data feed into PowerBI and the RSSB.
  • Automation of workflow - always knowing the status of each close call and who it is with
  • Connection with other reporting (e.g. live call close status in possessions dashboards)
  • Automated backend reporting to RSSB

Interested in discovering how eviFile can make Close Call reporting and repairs easier for your rail projects?

Contact us today to learn more.

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