This week marks the start of the rail industry’s annual Rail Safety Week - a great initiative by the TrackSAFE Foundation.
While our most significant contribution to Rail Safety Week and the greater safety debate remains our catalogue of 200+ Standards, Guidelines, Codes of Practice and Rules, we work year-round to address a range of safety matters as determined by our stakeholders and our purpose as an organisation. Safety and Standards go hand in hand at RISSB.
We’ve recently taken steps to put RISSB on a path that will move it to being an essential provider of safety advice and solutions. This is now not only guiding the work of our organisation, but also delivering even more value to industry as RISSB is positioned as a trusted advisor and as well as an industry participant.
Firstly, earlier this year, we consulted with industry on the safety issues that RISSB must manage in the coming year. RISSB has always sought ideas and direction from industry, but this time we broadened our reach and scope to be more inclusive. We spoke with CEOs about the safety issues they saw as important from a business perspective, we spoke to key managers and others in rail organisations about how to best manage risks in their organisations, and we asked our 50 Horizons Program participants to put forward ideas for new projects.
As a result, the projects RISSB is going to develop in 2020/21 have a new look. We are planning to publish 23 Standards, Codes of Practice, Guidelines and Rules. Importantly, this widespread input from industry has led to a focus on a suite of RISSB projects which were identified as major issues by industry. These include track worker safety, train control interoperability, noise and continuing the National Rules project.
Also, earlier this year, RISSB confirmed with Standards Australia, that we are accredited to develop and publish Australian Standards for the light rail sector. Just recently, we commenced work on a dedicated light rail Standard - a critical first step to support the burgeoning light rail sector across Australia.
been playing a lead role in the National Rail Action Plan which not only encompasses some of the special projects mentioned above, but also includes the development of further rolling stock Standards for the manufacturing industry.
But there's so much more to share. So far this this year, RISSB has made significant progress along our safety journey in a number of key areas:
The technology study with ONRSR and ACRI has reached a milestone in the production of a literature review. This week invitations will be issued to complete a survey to understand work (e.g. trials) that have been undertaken
around the industry in the lead up to a virtual industry workshop later in the year.
We’ve called for, and formed, Development Group membership for the Guideline - Good Practice for Planning Works in the Rail Corridor. This project will be a great asset for avoiding some of the pitfalls in rail works.
The inaugural meeting of the Track Worker Safety sub-group of the Safety Standing Committee was convened to share progress on industry initiatives and cross-fertilise ideas. There’s no IP in safety for this group!
Earlier this year, RISSB published a landmark document - the National Rules Framework. The Framework evolved out of, and is an extraction of, RISSB’s Australian Network Rules and Procedures (ANRP); it provides a core set of nationally applicable safeworking/operating rules. As such it forms a valuable cornerstone to any rulebook, and a benchmark to test the coverage and breadth of existing rulebooks. The Framework is available at https://www.rissb.com.au/products-main/national-operations/. We commend it to you as a basis for consistent, safe rail operations.
Building on the success
of the National Rules Framework, industry leaders have come together to form the National Rules Industry Reference Group to oversee the production of specific, detailed rules that industry can adopt widely, effectively self-mandating them. Work is well underway now on rail’s first industry-wide rule – communications. Bringing consistency to this critical part of our industry will be another important step forward in the safety of our staff, our passengers and the public.
RISSB continues to lead industry in the development of Standards, Codes of Practice, Guidelines and other publications to enhance the safety of the Australian rail industry. Through our engagement, these publications inform and assist in the building of Safety Management Systems in an effort to progress towards a nationally harmonised model.
The Guideline Good Practice for Planning Works in the Rail Corridor is a great example of RISSB listening to the concerns of industry and leading the development of safety solutions which can be utilised across all rail networks
RISSB has expanded its training offering for industry to include both in-person and online learning opportunities.
The National Track Safety Induction (NTSI) Course will be launched later this year and is RISSB’s first move towards a nationalised entry level course that provides the core track safety knowledge for rail workers. This course, managed by RISSB and developed by industry, is the base course to inform those who need track access as part of their job in rail. NTSI will be mandated by major operators and RIMs across the industry and will provide the critical base knowledge for rail safety workers.
In the coming weeks, RISSB will launch a new e-learning
program - Learning Express. The first module will provide rail workers with an overview of safety and governance in the rail industry. This will be followed by further modules designed with industry for industry.
RISSB has developed the Australian Rail Risk Model (ARRM). Having analysed over 300,000 pieces of occurrence data, ARRM now has more than 300 users from over 40 rail organisations and is helping them to make defensible risk-based decisions for their organisations. In late 2019, it was agreed that RISSB would also take over management of ALCAM (the Australian Level Crossing Assessment Model). ALCAM is transitioning to RISSB and RISSB will be overseeing key ALCAM projects.
These are just examples of what we are working on, with more initiatives to be announced over the coming weeks.
Industry has told RISSB to stand tall and lead rail safety and we are doing that as industry’s partner in co-regulation.
Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer
TRAINING AND EVENTS
RISSB's Rail Safety Conference 2020 27 - 28 October 2020