Rail safety issues and actions

Genesee & Wyoming Australia procedures for acceptance of dangerous freight

Issue number: RO-2014-015-SI-01
Who it affects: Rail operators
Issue owner: Genesee & Wyoming Australia
Transport function: Rail: Freight
Background: Investigation Report RO-2014-015
Issue release date: 24 March 2015
Current issue status: Safety action pending
Issue status justification:

At the time of this report release, the safety action advised by Genesee & Wyoming Australia had not yet been fully implemented.

Safety issue description

Genesee & Wyoming Australia had no procedure in place to verify (either in total or by random selection) that the nature or condition of freight provided by their customers, complied with their Standard Condition of Carriage.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2014-015-NSA-006
Action organisation: Genesee & Wyoming Australia
Date: 24 March 2015
Action status: Closed

As a result of this occurrence, Genesee & Wyoming Australia advised that they have undertaken an independent audit of their policies and procedures for the receiving, storage, handling, transporting and delivery practices at the Alice Springs and Darwin yards – relative to dangerous goods on GWA-accredited intermodal trains. The audit encompassed the following aspects:

  • Communications with customers re DGs at the time bookings are made – chain of responsibility.
  • Receipt of DGs at terminal and adequacy of the receipting process. Documentation relative to GWA’s responsibilities and gaining assurance as to nature of the goods – chain of responsibility.
  • Segregation and placarding of loaded and compliance of same with code of practice.
  • Adequacy of training delivered to train crews, transport controllers and supervisors.
  • Existence and adequacy of emergency/evacuation plans relative to DGs at the terminal.

ATSB comment:

While the likelihood of such events is relatively low, Genesee Wyoming Australia’s review of policy and procedures will help identify opportunities to further mitigate the risks of transporting dangerous goods. The ATSB is satisfied that, when fully implemented, the actions proposed by Genesee & Wyoming Australia should address this safety issue.

Last update 24 March 2015