Safety, Standards & Regulation, Workforce, Certification & Training

Track Worker Safety Options report released

Sue McCarrey from the ONSR says a new report will provide a valuable resource for operators of all kinds, right around the country.

RISSB in conjunction with ONRSR has released an options report assessing 16 global track worker safety technologies that can be used in the Australian rail environment.

The report titled Track Worker Safety Options identifies international and local technologies that can be used to prevent avoidable accidents and near misses on the Australian rail network.

The report is the culmination of extensive research to identify applicable technologies, and comprehensive engagement with stakeholders around the country, to first characterise the technology and ultimately examine a path to adoption that is both effective and commercially viable.

Options proposed in the report include LiDAR and machine vision on vehicles; worker sign in / sign out systems; driver and worker location awareness systems; electronic blocking; and remote overhead isolation and track possession opportunities.

According to Deb Spring, RISSB’s executive chair and chief executive, track worker safety remains a major concern for the rail industry as track worker fatalities and incidents continue to challenge industry’s work practices.

“Let’s make incidents and near misses a thing of the past. Now that we’ve identified proven track worker protection technologies lets deploy them and focus on better planning,” she said.

Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator CEO and national rail safety regulator, Sue McCarrey said the report would provide a valuable resource for operators of all kinds, right around the country.

“Track worker safety is a priority for all of us in the business of rail safety and this information offers us a great chance to make a real difference in this space and to ultimately save lives,” she said.

“In commending this report to the Australian rail industry, I am asking all rail transport operators, whatever the scope and nature of your operation, to challenge your current thinking and understand how this research can help you improve your track worker safety profile.”

The report underscores the importance of RISSB’s commitment to supporting track worker safety. Over the past year, RISSB has maintained this commitment by delivering work packages across five key areas: technology, planning works, skills / competencies, communications, and culture.

The report was overseen by the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) and was launched at RISSB’s Rail Safety Conference on Monday, 12 May 2021.

The report can be accessed from RISSB’s Grand Central web page: in the Helpful Resources area.

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