Identifying measures with the highest potential to reduce suicides on Finnish railways


Anne Silla

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, literature review - literature review, planning - methods, planning - personal safety/crime


Railway suicides, Prevention, Expert assessment


The purpose of this study was to work systematically through all known measures for preventing railway suicides and to consider their suitability for the Finnish railway environment. The research method included a selection and grouping of measures, definition of assessment criteria, a literature review and compilation of assessment forms, and a workshop for experts in the field. We assessed 21 measures based on 12 specified criteria. Specifically, the aim of these criteria was to support the identification and structuring of the available information on each measure to be in easily exploitable format for railway stakeholders. The measures were listed in order of priority in three categories based on final assessments from the workshop. The measures categorised as top priority with the highest potential to reduce suicides on Finnish railways included training of railway personnel to identify suicidal people (also called Gatekeeper training), camera surveillance, detection systems (radar, movement sensors, etc.), collaboration between organisations, learning from international experience, cooperation between railway organisations, police and fire and rescue services, and training of mental health providers. This prioritisation, together with the information included in the assessment forms and expert's views related to each measure, support the Finnish railway stakeholders in selecting measures and defining implementation strategies to prevent railway suicides on Finnish railways. The insights of Finnish experts on the effectiveness and potential implementation of these different measures are valuable information also for railway stakeholders in other countries when selecting appropriate measures to prevent railway suicides. The results of this study support the safe and effective functioning of the railway system by adding knowledge that will help effectively prevent railway suicides and loss of life, delays to train traffic, and work-related stress and trauma to railway staff, rescue personnel and eyewitnesses.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Applied Ergonomics Home Page: