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Safety messages are published by ONRSR periodically and are designed to focus on areas of rail safety concern. Safety messages provide detail on specific safety topics, share information between the regulator and the rail industry, and identify positive steps to enhance rail safety.
- Safety Message - Digital recreation - Worksite protection incident recreation & learnings
25 March 2021
- Safety Message: Track Worker Safety National Priority Project Update
24 November 2020
- Safety Message: Network Controller competencies
19 August 2020
ONRSR is advising operators to assess competency of network controllers following an emerging trend.
- Safety message: Emergency communications and readiness
22 July 2020
Training for an emergency situation is important so that it becomes routine, as much as possible.
- Safety message: Digital recreation - Safety critical communication
25 June 2020
This digital recreation explores the issue of a communications breakdown that resulted in a near miss for a track worker
- Regulating during COVID-19 - Freight
21 May 2020
Regardless of the current circumstances, the principles of risk management, risk control, and active supervision continue to be a legal and critical requirement even if there is a need to perform work in different conditions.
- Safety Message - Rail Safety Officers: Powers under Rail Safety National Law
16 April 2020
ONRSR’s rail safety officers (RSOs) are our primary interface with accredited rail transport operators and they are based in each of our offices around the country.
- Safety Message - Safety Management System Case Study - ONRSR and ASSCO
10 February 2020
ONRSR recently worked with the Australian Society of Section Car Operators to address an outdated safety management system and safety culture. The experience serves as an important reminder to all rail transport operators to ensure safety is always the top priority
- Safety Message - Load distribution for Road Rail Vehicles
13 December 2019
Rail Transport Operators are reminded that wheel loads effect safe guidance of vehicles on track with excessive loads leading to damaged rolling stock components and track structures.
- Lessons Learned: ONRSR & GWA - Whyalla Runaway Incident
20 November 2019
This document shares findings made from a runaway incident that occurred on 31 July 2019 in Whyalla, South Australia that should be used as an input to the risk review processes for operators managing a similar operating scenario.
- Safety message: Passengers caught in rolling stock doors - Risks, causes and controls
28 October 2019
ONRSR has developed new guidance for rail transport operators about the potential causes of incidents where people get stuck in rolling stock doors. It includes information regarding the existing controls available to eliminate or minimise the risk.
- Safety Message - Track Condition and Derailment Risk
20 September 2019
ONRSR is emphasising to all Rail Infrastructure Managers (RIMs) the increased risks posed by poorly maintained track following a series of recent derailments.
- Safety Message: ONRSR Investigation Findings: Worksite Protection Incidents
8 August 2019
ONRSR is reminding all operators of the importance of careful planning when carrying out Track Occupancy Authority and Local Possession Authority activities.
- Safety Message: Unsafe Loading of Coal Wagons
1 July 2019
This safety message is directed to coal loading operators and any other rolling stock operators responsible for loading coal into wagons.
- Safety Message - Importance of a System Engineering Approach
26 March 2019
Following recent incidents and observations the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) is reminding all operators of the importance of a system engineering approach.
- Safety Message - Rolling Stock Maintenance - November 2018
1 November 2018
- Safety Message: Fatigue risk management programs and enterprise bargaining agreements
1 August 2018
Some rail transport operators (RTO) may choose to apply arrangements from enterprise bargaining agreements to their fatigue risk management program. In this instance there are strict obligations that an RTO’s safety management system must meet.
- Safety Message: Management of emergency working (unplanned works)
1 March 2018
ONRSR is reminding all rail transport operators to be aware of the inherent risks associated with undertaking emergency or unplanned maintenance.
- Safety Message: ATSB investigation report findings on use of bio-mathematical models of human fatigue – learnings for the rail industry
1 December 2017
An ATSB-identified limitation of use of the bio-mathematical model FAID has relevance to the rail industry.
- Asbestos found in imported friction wear plates in rail carriages – WA Government alert
21 November 2017
Asbestos has recently been found in friction wear plates in the suspension systems of rail carriages.
- Technical Review: Wheel Failure Incidents and Other Data in the Hunter Valley: 2013–2015
4 October 2017
A review of the metallurgical and associated factors covering eight wheel failure incidents, issued for the benefit of like-for-like railways.
- Safety Message: ONRSR Road Rail Vehicle National Project – Human Factors Observations
4 April 2017
Sets out ONRSR's road rail vehicle (RRV) human factors observations and analyses.
- Safety Message: Preventing unbraked runaways of permanently coupled wagons with shared braking platforms
11 November 2014
The ONRSR is concerned about the risk of permanently coupled pairs of freight wagons, which share a braking system, becoming uncoupled and resulting in a runaway. Rail operators are expected to reassess the risk/s associated with permanently coupled wagons and consider additional measures to mitigate these risks.
- Safety Message: An emerging issue: 'shattered rim' wheel defects
30 June 2014
Australian rail operators may need to review and revise risk registers to manage the hazards associated with ‘shattered rim’ following two recent incidents, which may be indicators of a larger safety issue for the industry.
- Safety Message: Learning lessons from international rail incidents
5 March 2014
Investigation reports into rail accidents overseas can provide valuable lessons learned which, when applied, may reduce the risk of these incidents occurring in Australia.
- Safety Message: Managing the risks associated with roadrail vehicles
28 August 2013
The ONRSR has been working closely with the rail industry to assist in the identification and management of risks associated with the operation of Road/Rail Vehicles (RRVs).
Safety alerts are issued as needed to inform accredited rail transport operators and the broader rail industry of current and emerging safety issues.
- Safety Alert - Isolation of level crossings on adjacent lines
16 December 2020
Safety Alert Notice to Rail Transport Operators - Isolation of level crossings on adjacent lines
- Safety Alert - Use of rail vehicle lifting jacks
16 April 2019
Safety Alert Notice to Rail Transport Operators - Use of rail vehicle lifting jacks
- Safety Alert - RSA-2019-001 - Identification of asbestos
17 January 2019
RSA 2019-001 - Identification of asbestos on locomotive main air reservoir gasket
- Safety Alert: Use of Electronically Controlled Pneumatic braking and Automatic Train Protection systems
20 November 2018
ONRSR alerts all operators on the actions that should be taken by rail transport operators utilising ECP braking systems.
- RSA-2018-001 Identification of Asbestos in Draft Gear Pocket Wear Liner
26 September 2018
ONRSR alerts all operators to the identification of Chrysotile (white asbestos) in the top coupler / yoke pin wear liner of the draft pocket on a locomotive.
- RSA-2016-01 Site specific risk assessments when using Road Rail Vehicles
25 August 2016
Notice to Rail Transport Operators, 24 August 2016.
- RSA-2015-01 Identification of asbestos gasket in coal wagon valves
19 January 2015
This Safety Alert states the ONRSR has been advised by Asciano of the idenfitication of an asbestos gasket in a valve on a Pacific National coal wagon.
- RSA-2014-03 Operational interfaces between Rail Infrastructure Managers and Rolling Stock Operators – mixed and dual gauge turnouts
20 August 2014
This safety alert states that due to the design of the wheel transfer area of some mixed and dual gauge turnouts, rolling stock with wheelsets of 127mm rim width are at higher risk of derailment than wheelsets of 140mm rim width.
- RSA-2014-02 Thermal spraying
3 April 2014
This Safety Alert states a major passenger operator recently suffered an axle failure on one of its electric multiple unit fleet.
- RSA-2014-01 Structural fatigue failure of wagon underframe
17 March 2014
This Safety Alert states a PQMY container flat wagon suffered a significant fatigue failure at a sectional change in the under-frame (ie. main longitudinal beams).
- RSA-2013-02 Coupling systems and brake systems fitted to infrastructure trolleys and trailers
18 November 2013
This Safety Alert states that Rail Transport Operators should examine all risks associated with using Road Rail Vehicles (RRV) to tow/push rolling stock.
- RSA-2013-01 Derailers - Failure to derail due to faulty design, installation, maintenance or operation
26 April 2013
This Safety Alert states that the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator was recently notified of an incident in which rolling stock travelled over a derailer without derailing.