Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

Celebrating the 10th year of Rail R U OK? Day

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Rail R U OK?, an initiative dedicated to building a supportive workplace culture where colleagues really look out for each other every day of the year.

Heather Neil, Executive Director of TrackSAFE wants the industry to let its colleagues know you’re here, to really hear, every day of the year.

“As we join together on 18 April to connect, share experiences of when support has helped during tough times, and further build our conversation confidence, we want to reiterate the value of making space to really listen,” she said.

More than 100,000 rail employees across more than 135 organisations nationwide support Rail R U OK? Importantly, research shows the initiative successfully motivates individuals to support their colleagues. A 2021 survey found seven in ten workers (70 per cent) aware of Rail R U OK? had checked in with someone.

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Chief Executive Officer and TrackSAFE Foundation Director Caroline Wilkie said it is wonderful to see Rail R U OK? Day mark 10 successful years of building safer and more supportive workplace cultures across the rail industry.

“It is fantastic to see this initiative continue to grow and strengthen over the past decade and this is testament to the work and dedication of the TrackSAFE Foundation and R U OK?” Wilkie said.

“For 10 years, the rail industry has been actively focused on making these important conversations a part of our culture and it is great to see so many of our members encouraging their teams to look out for their workmates and recognise when someone may need support.”

“With some of the ARA team in Brisbane for Thursday night’s annual Queensland Rail Industry Dinner, we will take the opportunity to support events being hosted by our members around the city to mark this important milestone,” Wilkie said.

“It is essential that we all take time today, and every day, to consider what each of us can do to help foster a compassionate and supportive workplace culture in the rail industry.”

The ARA team will attend the following events on Thursday 18 April in Brisbane:

  • Employee Supporter high tea hosted by Queensland Rail’s Healthy Minds Support Crew, with guest speaker Katherine Newton (CEO, R U OK?);
  • Martinus workshop tour, team discussion and lunch at their Rocklea facility; and
  • Alstom livestream presentation from James Hill (Beyond Blue Ambassador) and lunch hosted at their Milton office.

Wilkie said a range of resources were available to help both employees and employers understand how to better support colleagues.

“Knowing how to start an R U OK? conversation with someone who may be having a difficult time can make a huge difference,” she said.

“Looking out for your colleagues and taking the time to have meaningful conversations supports a resilient, safe and happier workplace and, in some cases, could save someone’s life.”

The TrackSAFE Foundation has developed a Conversation Guide to assist in planning a conversation with workmates. Visit TrackSAFE for FREE resources to help you have an R U OK? conversation and plan your Rail R U OK? activities. If you or someone you know needs some extra support, you can find contact information for national support and services at www.ruok.org.au/findhelp

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