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Safe work on track across Australia: Analysis of incident data

The ATSB has released a new safety issue investigation report, Safe work on track across Australia: Analysis of incident data, 2009 – 2014.

This report reviews available data from across Australia of incidents and accidents relating to work on track. It relates directly to SafetyWatch, the ATSB’s list of the most pressing safety issues in Australian rail, marine, and aviation transport.

Safe work on track

ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood said the report examines serious issues demonstrating where rail safety needs to be improved.

“Issues relating to safe work on track have been on the ATSB’s list of safety priorities since the list’s inception in 2012,” said Mr Hood. “The effectiveness of the current track work risk controls requires continual improvement.”

The effectiveness of the current track work risk controls requires continual improvement.

The ATSB continues to receive notification of safe work incidents involving worksite protection arrangements. These notifications suggest the existence of broader safety issues associated with work on track that continue to present a level of risk to worker safety.

The report was developed after ATSB researchers reviewed 12,146 occurrence records from all state and territory rail safety regulators for the period July 2009 and July 2014. Of these, approximately 15 per cent were to found to be associated with work on track.

The report identifies eleven categories of occurrences. The most common occurrence type involved situations where insufficient or incorrect types of protection were put in place.

Before publication, the report was released as a draft for consultation with valuable input being received from the public and industry, including from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.

Mr Hood said that the he hoped that the report would provide a catalyst to the rail industry as a whole to continue to improve safety on Australia’s rail network.

“This new report identifies the most common events exposing track workers to safety risks,” said Mr Hood. “People working in the rail industry will be able to use this as a guide, helping them target the most common and dangerous problems that we’re seeing in our examination of the data.”

ATSB research report RI-2014-011: Safe work on track across Australia: Analysis of incident data

 
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Last update 01 November 2017