14 Mar 2017

Public Consultation (AS 7708 Signals Earthing and Surge Protection) & Call for Development Group members.

Second public consultation of AS 7708 Signals Earthing and Surge Protection (two weeks only)

Following a large number of comments during the first public consultation period, the second draft of AS 7708 Signals Earthing and Surge Protection has been released for a second public consultation, for two weeks only.


The purpose of AS 7708 Signals Earthing and Surge Protection Standard describes a set of mandatory and recommended requirements for the nomenclature, design and development, construction and implementation, testing and commissioning, monitoring and maintenance, modification, decommissioning and disposal of signals earthing and surge protection in Australia.

The main purpose of the requirements are to:

  • Provide a uniform basis to address all identified hazards associated with lightning and electrical surges in railway signalling and telecommunications equipment.
  • Clearly and accurately describe each of the essential requirements (functions, design considerations and constraints, performance, maintainability, monitoring and safety) of signals earthing and surge protection devices for railway application.
  • Promote a consistent or uniform treatment of signals earthing and surge protection methods across the Australian railway networks.

How to contribute

Stakeholders are invited to submit comments on the draft, available from the RISSB website:

AS 7708 Signals Earthing and Surge Protection.

Use Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader commenting tools to detail suggested changes within the PDF, and return it to the Project Manager Sarah Bonnar sbonnar@rissb.com.au.

Closing date for comments is Friday, March 24, 2017.

RISSB call for product Development Group members

The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) is responsible for the development and management of nationally applicable rail industry standards, rules, codes of practice and guidelines. These products aim to harmonise Australian rail practices to drive common levels of safety and performance while delivering economies of scale through reduction in local differences.

RISSB is seeking nominations from subject matter experts to be involved in the development of the following products.

  • Guideline – Risk Management for Driver Only Operations:

Driver only operations should not increase safety risk over two person operations. This guideline will cover the management of ‘driver only’ risk associated with driver incapacitation, driver error, fatigue etc. It will refer to risk mitigations such as engineering controls, communications and competence.

  • Guideline – Safety Critical Communications:

The aim of this guideline is to describe a set of requirements and practices relating to safety critical communications to and between workers responsible for the safe operation of rail traffic, rail infrastructure and rail systems. The scope will include verbal and non-verbal communication including protocols, hand-signals, and procedures for using communication equipment. 

If you’re interested in participating in one or both of these development groups, please respond by emailing Jesse Baker, RISSB Manager Safety, Systems and Innovation – jbaker@rissb.com.au by the COB 31 March 2017.

The role of the Development Group

A detailed description of the RISSB standards development process and admin procedures are available at: https://www.rissb.com.au/key-documents/admin-documents/

Please note in particular the document ‘ADMIN 3-7 Development Group Member Responsibilities’ by which DG members must abide.

The Expected Commitment

Previous development experience suggests the following approximate time commitment is as follows for RISSB products:

  • Around 2 days every 5 to 6 months for DG meetings (incl travel, preparation, post meeting activity).
  • Around 2 days proofing each draft (there might be three drafts over an 18 month period).

Please note that the costs associated with DG members participating on RISSB development groups are borne by the parent company (or self); RISSB is not resourced for this expense.