Design Close Call


Whilst the reporting, capture and monitoring of Close Calls is widely used for site-based activities, they are not currently used effectively for design activities. There is a direct relationship between the number of Close Calls raised and the number of accidents that happen on our projects which should also translate to the development and design stages.

Understanding what hazards and risks are occurring during the design stages will allow us to take direct steps to reduce them in the future thereby improving the safety within all designs that are developed and subsequently reducing incidents and accidents occurring in site activities.

It should be noted that this is not intended as a means of criticising individuals or companies but is being used to promote positive behaviours in capturing issues and sharing lessons for future design activities.

Network Rail have a Design Close Call dashboard which contains all of the data from the RSSB input from across our industry partners

Live Dashboard


Hazard or injury

  • A design condition or situation (including errors and omissions) which could have been identified earlier in the design review/verification process.
  • Something which has been signed off and subsequently found to have the potential to cause harm or injury to people or the environment or;
  • A design which harbours a latent hazard which has the potential to cause harm or injury to people or the environment. This may be the result of design assumptions or option decision which have not been adequately tested, managed or communicated.

Undue stress

  • A set of parameters which places members of the project team under sufficient stress to endanger or damage their wellbeing or compromise their ability to fulfil their role effectively; this is likely but not necessarily the result of pressure to deliver on time. However, there are other potential causes of stress which could be design or individual specific e.g. having to design to a bare minimum clearance.

Good practice

  • It also allows for capturing observations of good and/or novel practice.

How to raise a DCC?

You are now able to raise a Design Close Call (DCC) in CCS and select sub-categories; behaviours, constructability, design, time pressure or temporary works/conditions. Please make sure you use a sub-category as this will help with trend analysis.

Categories associated with a Design Close Call:

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