Rail safety issues and actions

Effective coordination of emergency communications

Issue number: RO-2013-005-SI-10
Who it affects: All railway network owners and operators responsible for the management and coordination of operational training and emergency communications.
Issue owner: Queensland Rail Limited
Operation affected: Rail: Operations control
Background: Investigation Report RO-2013-005
Date: 20 December 2013

Safety issue description

The successful management of an emergency event from a remote location is critically dependent on clear and effective communication protocols. Communications within train control, and between train control and Cleveland station, were not sufficiently coordinated and resulted in misunderstandings at the Cleveland station accident site.


Action organisation: Queensland Rail
Action number: RO-2013-005-SR-021
Date: 20 December 2013
Action status: Closed

Queensland Rail has implemented an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans (EPRP) for all City Network Stations. Training has been conducted and a process put in place to ensure the contents of the EPRP are reviewed and discussed regularly at focus group meetings and toolbox talks.

Queensland Rail continues to develop and implement a single integrated process to address communication protocols within the network control centre and between the network control centre and an emergency site. The process includes incident management, site preservation and protection during response and recovery.

ATSB response:

The ATSB notes that Queensland Rail continues to develop effective internal communication protocols to prevent misunderstandings between staff during an emergency incident response.

Current issue status: Safety action pending
Last update 25 February 2015