Australian Rail Personal Protective Equipment (Standard)

Type of product being suggested:
Title of product being suggested:
Australian rail Personal Protective Equipment
Date of suggestion:
Feb 2017
Reason for suggestion:
Standardising PPE used in rail environments across the nation will drive down compliance costs to the industry and contribute to the harmonisation of standards. This is seen as a simple opportunity to harmonise, and drive out unnecessary cost
Sponsored by RISSB Standing Committee:
Safety Standing Committee
The scope of the project
The production of a standard in accordance with RISSB’s accredited development process.

The scope of the document

The hierarchy of controls tells us that the most effective way to protect people from harm is to ‘eliminate’ safety risk. Where that cannot be achieved then the next best solution is to ‘substitute’ those items that give rise to the risk with other, less risky items. Beyond these, ‘engineering controls’ and ‘administrative controls’ should be explored; but the last line of defence is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The scope of this standard would be those items of PPE which are particular to the general (national) rail environment. It will be prescriptive in nature, setting minimum requirements upon which RTOs / Contractors can overlay their own requirements if necessary. It will not seek to specify task specific PPE, although it may highlight those areas with specific PPE requirements.

The standard would include transition arrangements.

Hazard identification:
1 Inadequate PPE (Intentional – Working on live equipment)
2 Inappropriate or slippery footwear
3 struck by rail traffic


Safety risk
PPE is the ‘last line of defence’ when something goes wrong. It is important that it be utilised properly to be effective.
Setting a national benchmark for PPE will raise the nett safety benefit across all railways.
Some aspects of PPE are intended to signal information to others (e.g. hi-vis). Where PPE requirements are different that information can become confused creating opportunities for errors.
The safety dividend will come for low cost (in the development of the standard as well as its implementation – i.e. SFAIRP)
Interoperability / harmonisation
This standard would achieve national harmonisation i.e. all railways would be able to adopt and apply it.
It would enable Contractors to work in different jurisdictions without navigating different/conflicting requirements (thereby reducing costs – see below).
The interoperability/harmonisation benefits are aligned with the Industry’s Safety strategy.
The standard itself is anticipated to be simple and inexpensive.
Implementation would be phased so cost of adoption would be negligible.
The cost of trying to meet multiple / conflicting PPE requirements is thought to be significant’.Improves financial forecasting and management by reducing project risks, reducing re-work, improving design accuracy via federating discipline designs, tracking program and time and relaying project status in a easily digestible and visual format.