Radial unitising straps contacting the cradle
Date issue released
Safety Issue Description

Pacific National's Freight Loading Manual did not require a combination of radial unitising straps on jumbo coils positioned such that a strap was always free from contact with the cradle. The provision of straps in this configuration would have reduced the risk of the coil telescoping in the event of strap breakage due to contact with the cradle.

Issue number
RO-2018-008-SI-02
Issue Status
Closed – Partially addressed
Transport Function
Rail: Freight
Issue Owner
Pacific National Pty Ltd
Mode of Transport
Rail
Issue Status Justification

Pacific National have not implemented any actions to prevent coils from being 'loaded in an orientation where all the radial straps are positioned within the contact zone between the coils and cradle'.

However, the responses provided by Pacific National do include other actions (ensuring that coil cradles are fitted with rubber mat and requiring the condition of the mat to be inspected and maintained) that address the risk of straps breaking. In addition, Pacific National have undertaken to continue to 'further investigate and explore options to reduce the risk of ... the radial straps becoming damaged from coming into contact with the cradle, so far as is reasonable practicable'. Based on this, the ATSB is satisfied that the requirement for, and ongoing maintenance of rubber matting will assist in reducing the risk of the unitising straps breaking. 

Safety recommendation
Action number
RO-2018-008-SR-040
Organisation
Pacific National Pty Ltd
Action date
Action Status
Closed - Partial Action
Action description

The ATSB recommends that Pacific National address the risk presented by continuing to allow jumbo coils to be loaded in an orientation where all the radial straps are positioned within the contact zone between the coil and cradle.

ATSB Response

Pacific National have not implemented any actions to prevent coils from being 'loaded in an orientation where all the radial straps are positioned within the contact zone between the coils and cradle'.

However, the responses provided by Pacific National do include other actions (ensuring that coil cradles are fitted with rubber mat and requiring the condition of the mat to be inspected and maintained) that address the risk of straps breaking. In addition, Pacific National have undertaken to continue to 'further investigate and explore options to reduce the risk of ... the radial straps becoming damaged from coming into contact with the cradle, so far as is reasonable practicable'. Based on this, the ATSB is satisfied that the requirement for, and ongoing maintenance of rubber matting will assist in reducing the risk of the unitising straps breaking. 

Organisation Response
Date Received
Organisation
Pacific National
Response Status
Response Text

Pacific National: initial response

Pacific National provided a response to the safety recommendation, which included an offer of a meeting between Pacific National representatives and the ATSB. The ATSB accepted this offer and the meeting occurred on 25 March 2021 with a commitment from Pacific National to provide follow-up action. 

Date Received
Organisation
Pacific National
Response Status
Response Text

Pacific National: meeting outcome

Following on from our teleconference on Monday, we would like to offer the following:In response to Safety Recommendation (RO-2018-008-SR-040), providing a more concise summary of actions:Considering the type of current lifting implements used to load and unload the coil, and requirements in positioning the tail end of the coil in the cradle, the management of eliminating the risk of the radial straps coming into contact with the cradle has been addressed by a programme of works to ensure all jumbo coil cradles are fitted with fit for purpose rubber matting. This is to provide additional friction and product protection including unitising straps.

As part of continuous improvement, Pacific National will continue to further investigate/explore (in partnership with Bluescope) options to reduce the risk of the position of the radial straps becoming damaged from coming into contact with the cradle, so far as is reasonably practicable. Once agreed on further feasible methods, Pacific National will riskassess and perform trials via the provisional load process.

Date Received
Organisation
Pacific National
Response Status
Response Text

Pacific National briefing: Radial unitising straps contacting cradle

Pacific National engineers briefed the ATSB on the results of further work. The briefing addressed the four items indicated in correspondence dated 30 March 2021.

Pacific National also told the ATSB that all cradles, demountable and fixed, are being fitted with rubber load mat and that details of the mat and the requirement to inspect and maintain have been included in a draft (currently being reviewed for implementation) section of their Wagon Maintenance Manual.