Although TasRail had a detailed change management process in place, and had documented that the project to develop the third-generation remote control equipment was a significant change, the change management process had a limited capability to:
The ATSB is satisfied that TasRail’s amended change management processes adequately addresses the safety issue.
On 15 July 2022 TasRail advised the following in terms of the assurance of progression of a change:
In order to address these issues, TasRail has implemented a revised Management of Change System’s Project Delivery Process which provides step-by-step instructions to Change Leads on how to deliver a change/project from conceptualisation through to finalisation. The Project Delivery Process includes key points where safety assurance activities and safety impacts are to be identified, assessed, mitigated, and verified.
The Project Delivery Process has key hold points embedded within it as mandatory "checks" to ensure appropriate governance. Some of these include:
In addition to these mandatory check points, the Project Delivery Process makes note that additional checkpoint approvals may be required for individual projects, and such governance processes should be determined on a project-by-project basis based on risk and impact to the business.
TasRail advised the following in terms of the need for relevant safety assurance activities and the determination of whether a change had the potential to impact safety:
It should be noted that the system itself does not identify the need for relevant safety assurance activities but provides a consistent platform for the business to be able to assess projects and determine if safety assurance activities are required. It does this by providing guidance to delivery teams about what and when certain activities (safety assurance being one) should be considered and managed. It is an embedded requirement of the system, that the personnel assessing, undertaking, reviewing and authorising Management of Change be competent in the areas that they are involved.
TasRail additionally advised:
[The newly-developed Management of Change System] provides detailed guidance and tools to assist Change Leads in ensuring safety assurance activities are considered, planned and verified throughout the implementation of a change.
The Management of Change System achieves this through the following:
Finally, TasRail [has conducted] training for approximately 90 of its employees who will use, or be exposed to, the Management of Change System so that they have a proper understanding of the system and its requirements.
The ATSB notes that TasRail’s wide-ranging new processes address each aspect of the safety issue in detail. In addition to the benefits described by TasRail in its response to this safety issue, the processes:
Such activities necessarily require close engagement with the development process when using vendors or contractors and are likely to provide reliable, documented safety assurance to all types of activities.