The organisation of control
The organisation of control in France
In French law, the government is in charge of the safety of passenger transportation. Ropeway transportation and guided transports fall into this category.
To learn more about the laws governing the control of ropeways and guided transports in France, click here
The French State has thus developed a specific organisation for the purpose of ensuring safety on ropeways, with more than 100 civil servants spread across the French territory. They are specifically dedicated to the task of authorising and controlling ropeways (approximately 4,000 installations) and guided transports (approximately 120 lines).
This task force is organised in a network and is divided into :
- 8 local offices each operating within its designated geographical area (they are called BDRM, BIRM or BIRMTG)
- 1 coordinating agency: the STRMTG
The local offices are located in Paris, Besançon, Clermont Ferrand, Grenoble, Chambéry, Bonneville, Tarbes and Gap.
The STRMTG is located in Grenoble.
The local offices depend on the local representative of the state (" Préfet ") and not on the STRMTG. The STRMTG has no hierarchical power over the local offices and is merely in charge of harmonising the control process made by consensus.
The local offices are in charge of:
- authorising new installations/systems after having checked that they meet regulations;
- verifying that the operator fulfils its duties (controls to be carried out, enforcement of regulations, etc.);
- authorising modifications on existing installations/systems;
- having specific controls performed after particular events (return on experience).
The French State’s control philosophy is straddled between monitoring control and direct control.
Here is an example of "monitoring control": the French State does not actually carry out non-destructive testing of ropes. It merely checks that the required controls are carried out at the required intervals, by a qualified person, with the results showing thet the rope is in good condition.
Here is an example of "direct control": the French civil servants continuously check on-site that the conductors are qualified and the required operational procedures are applied.