29 May 2020

RISSB Launches Track Worker Safety Program

RISSB is launching a program focusing on the safety of frontline track workers across Australia. The program of work follows extensive consultation with industry leaders who earlier this year agreed that track worker safety is industry’s number one priority.

The program will span work packages across five key areas: technology, planning works, skills / competencies, communications, and culture.

1 Technology

RISSB is collaborating with ONRSR and ACRI to identify technologies that can, and are, being deployed to protect workers in Australia and overseas – so that they can be more widely promulgated here

2 Planning Works

• We will develop guidance material for planning works in the rail corridor to help minimise occurrences.

• We will explore the development of a national digital engineering Standard to enable more efficient, lower cost, and safer planning of works

3 Skills / Competencies

• We will work hand in hand with industry to launch a National Track Safety Induction course that will deliver competency in TLIF 2080 (Safely Accessing the Rail Corridor)

• RISSB is exploring the viability of offering nationally recognised Protection Officer training

4 Safety Critical Communications

• We will set the benchmark for industry by producing a national communications rule that all rail companies can adopt

• RISSB will write a safety critical communications Standard by the end of the 2020 calendar year

5 Culture

• In the coming months, RISSB will launch a safety culture survey – the Occupational Culture Work Health and Safety survey and make it available to the rail industry

• We will produce guidance for achieving a positive safety culture in the rail corridor

RISSB will progress this program of work with input and advice from the following industry groups, managed by RISSB:

• The National Track Worker Safety Forum
• The Safety Managers Group
• The Safety Standing Committee
• The National Rules Industry Reference Group

This work will complement, and build on previous RISSB work to protect frontline workers:

• Maintenance of the Australian Network Rules and Procedures and its recent evolution to the National Rules Framework
• Publishing AS 7479 Collision Avoidance and Proximity Warning on Track Maintenance Vehicles Including Road Rail Vehicles
• Publishing the Safety Critical Communications Guideline and delivering an accompanying course

If you have any comments / questions, feel free to email Jesse Baker, RISSB GM Safety and Innovation jbaker@rissb.com.au, or watch our communiques for announcements of when specific work packages are beginning, so that you can express your interest in being involved.