I have just returned from a tremendous few days at the 29th International Railway Safety Council Conference in Perth. Feedback tells us the event was a major success from both an educational and networking perspective.
This conference was jointly organised by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (Julie Bullas), and the Australian Transport Bureau (Nat Nagy). I would like to recognise and thank the local organising committee for their efforts.
More than 220 attendees from 20 countries enjoyed a diverse program including: three stakeholder group meetings, over 25 presentations, an impressive social program and two fantastic technical tours including Speno Rail Maintenance Australia’s maintenance facility and a full day visit to Roy Hill’s and Port Hedland Ports’ operations in the Pilbara, over 1,600 kilometres from Perth.
I’m sure that those who attended will agree that the quality of presentations from international and local speakers was exceptionally high. Topics as diverse as the digital transformation of the rail sector, risk analysis methodology, rail safety and the fourth industrial revolution, and system integration requirements, helped deepen delegate’s understanding of rail safety in a digital age.
While attendees walked away challenged with new ideas on how innovation and technology is changing the future or rail safety, I can say I too walked away with new ideas as well as enriched networks and a profound sense of belonging to an international rail community. And as much as the conference was about connecting with new people, it was heartening to see so many of our members at this event. Thank you for your attendance.
The IRSC provides an international forum for an in-depth exchange of experience and lessons for improving rail safety. So to continue and expand the sharing of this knowledge, the presentations and papers from the 29th IRSC will be made available on the IRSC and RISSB websites, https://international-railway-safety-council.com/, and https://www.rissb.com.au in the near future. RISSB will also be working with presenters to create webinars. I encourage you to look at them.
I'd also like to acknowledge the winner of the IRSC 2019 Best Presenter Award, Allan Spence of Network Rail who challenged our thinking on “How realistic is the picture provided by your assurance regime?” as well as Rodrigo Alvarez and Fersy Ramon Philip Castillo from Rail Systems Australia who won the Best Paper Award for their co-authored paper “The Sixth Sensor: How IoT Smart Sensors Can Address Operational Challenges Introduced by Increasing Automation in Railways.” Well done!
On a final note, I’d like to congratulate our first Horizons Program participants for completing the program, in particular, the winning group of the pitching competition. Ryan Holt (ARTC) and Michael Holmes (Sydney Metro) presented the group's idea to conference delegates.
Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer
RISSB coordinated industry's second annual Sharing Investigations Forum held earlier this month in Brisbane, with twenty participants exploring learnings from each other's safety investigations.
The one-day forum brought together rail safety investigators, safety managers and leaders from rail transport operators to share issues and discuss experiences for the benefit of all.
Held at Aurizon, the forum comprised three knowledge sharing presentations, a guest
presentation by Dr Gemma Read from the University of the Sunshine Coast who spoke about identifying and addressing the systemic factors contributing to incidents and accidents with AcciMap; a presentation from the ATSB outlining an aviation incident and learnings, and a group discussion on common lessons from sharing learnings which participants could take back to their own organisation.
Following a day of progressive discussions, several key themes and associated takeaways emerged:
· Leaders who take an immediate and strong response (e.g. prohibiting an activity until it is confirmed safe) is well regarded and provides the organisation the opportunity to implement the practical controls as necessary without undue pressure. This is counter to the response of
‘get the trains running again.’
· The role of the investigator needs to be recognised as just that – they investigate and help identify improvements moving forward. They are not accountable for the incident, or the actual improvements.
· Cyber security is emerging as a clear risk factor to consider in investigations. There is question whether organisations have a robust understanding of the risk and controls in place (and the limitations of these).
· Having a true just culture is imperative in understanding and accepting the systems-based issues that lead to an incident.
Feedback about the forum was positive with respondents rating the overall
forum a 9.2 out of 10 and the three shared investigations speakers a 9.3 out of 10.
Some of the comments about what people liked the most included:
“Usually I watch the clock at forums, but not at this one…”
“Openness of participants to share experiences and challenges. Great to hear from others actually in the field about good and bad”
“Networking and ability to benchmark incidents from other RTOs…”
Thank you to Aurizon for helping us secure a venue and run a successful event.
Based on feedback and interest from others, we’re currently planning our third Sharing Investigations Forum, the details of which will be released early next year.
RISSB's Chair and Industry Networking Breakfast
12 November 2019
Location: Sydney, NSW
Rail Safety Investigation Course
18 - 21 November 2019
Location: Brooklyn, VIC
Inaugural Horizons Program Participants Complete
The Horizons 1 Program concluded in Perth on Sunday, 13 October 2019.
The forum was held at Rio Tinto and included presentations from Rebecca Pickering from Rio Tinto about their AutoHaul driverless train program, a panel of senior managers in rail (Richard Wales and Joe McGinlay from PTAWA, Sandra Wilson-Ryke from Gold Coast Light Rail, Michael Bourke from Arc Infrastructure and Rebecca from Rio Tinto) and workshops on leadership styles and on “Looking After Yourself”.
The Horizons Program had 49 participants at its peak from all parts of Australia and New Zealand. Participants were presented with their certificate in Perth.
The Perth Horizons forum featured presentations from all eight groups on the program on their innovative ideas for rail.
It was a fascinating series of well structured, well presented, and well thought through ideas ranging from the concept of Rail Mail to an application of photogrammetry to mobile rule books to a new ladder design for drivers getting in and out of locomotive cabs.
Congratulations to group 7 led by Ryan Holt from ARTC and Michael Holmes from Sydney Metro, who were the winning group for their innovative idea around augmented reality and wearables.
Ryan and Michael also presented to the IRSC conference on Sunday, sparking great interest in the
Every fortnight we'll be introducing our new Horizons 2 participants to you.
This week say hello to James Dowzard, Aaron Davies and Guillaume Barnes.
My name is James Dowzard and I work for John Holland as a Systems Engineer predominantly in Systems Assurance.
I recently worked on Sydney Metro Northwest where I assisted in the delivery of the Engineering Safety Case, specifically in managing the GSN, residual risk analysis, assumptions, dependencies and constraints, and producing a risk assessment for intrusion into the network.
In five years, I would like to be leading a team looking at how to integrate new technologies to make rail an amazing experience for people in the industry and customers alike.
My name is Aaron Davies and I work for Metro Trains Melbourne as a Network Assurance Specialist. Based in the Engineering department, I facilitate risk management activities that support Rail Operations and Project Delivery. Relatively new to rail, my background is in Manufacturing Operations. I value sharing skills and developing ideas from the great history many of our colleagues have in the rail industry – particularly at this time of industry development
The next few years excites me for new technology, interfaces and collaboration between growing railways in Australia
Drinking all the coffee, travelling and anything outdoors is always my plan when work allows
My name is Guillaume Barnes and I work for Laing O’Rourke as a Senior Project Engineer (SPE).
Working as an SPE for a Managing Contractor, I am responsible for managing engineers to deliver all aspects of complex rail infrastructure projects.
I believe rail transport has a bright future notably for providing much needed efficient public transport solutions..
In 5 years from now, I aspire to be managing some of the most challenging rail projects in the country
Copyright 2019 RISSB, All rights reserved.
Level 4, 15 Astor Terrace
Spring Hill, QLD 4000
Level 4, 580 Collins St
Melbourne, VIC 3000