Rail safety issues and actions

Information of the status of learning

Issue number: RO-2011-016-SI-02
Who it affects: All owners and operators of rollingstock
Issue owner: Specialized Bulk Rail (SBR)
Transport function: Rail: Freight
Background: Investigation Report RO-2011-016
Issue release date: 03 April 2013
Current issue status: Partially addressed
Issue status justification:

SBR have not made clear, in the absence of such information recorded by the driver-in-training or others, the procedure for capturing sufficient information of the experience or performance of a driver-in-training to enable appropriate briefing of the mentor by the Train Crew Supervisor/Rail Operations Manager

Safety issue description

There were no formalised processes for a driver-in-training to record their experience in learning a route, or to document feedback related to their performance, which could be used by supervising drivers or assessors to assist in mentoring them.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2011-016-NSA-016
Action organisation: Specialized Bulk Rail (SBR)
Date: 03 April 2013
Action status: Closed

SBR encourages and supports drivers who diarise and make notes during the learning process. SBR also provides materials with which to do so. SBR has reviewed this position for forming a panel of training staff, including our RTO [registered training organisation] to consider this proposal. The panel consisted of the four staff with a combined experience in driver training of over 70 years. It included a senior driver trainer, our operations manager, a manager who was formally the CEO of a major rail industry training organisation and our current RTO CEO.

The collective opinion of these training staff was; to mandate this would be counterproductive to safety and learning outcomes.

Records that can be accessed by other than the trainee would most likely result in "sanitised" notes and diary entries that will not achieve the best learning outcomes. Trainees must feel free to record information as truthfully as possible and in a manner that assists in their learning. They should not be distracted from learning, by formalising notes for later record keeping purposes. Driving assessments and are formally recorded by instructors, when a trainee's assessment is completed.

ATSB comment:

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau notes the response provided by Specialised Bulk Rail Pty Ltd. The provision of a formal briefing to the driver in charge by the Train Crew Supervisor/Rail Operations Manager at the commencement of a roster adequately addresses the safety issue.

Last update 13 February 2014