Safe railways for Australia

Managing safety


Safety management is an ongoing process. It is an essential requirement of receiving and maintaining accreditation with ONRSR. There are five parts to effective rail safety management:

  • identification of all the hazards and risks to safety
  • planning of actions to eliminate or reduce the risks
  • competent people to implement controls and defences
  • regular monitoring of both the risks and effectiveness of the controlling actions
  • identification and management of changes to the operational risk profile.

A central component of these requirements is a safety management system (SMS), in which a rail transport operator (RTO) documents safety risks, controls and methods for monitoring. An SMS is an RTO’s primary means for identifying hazards, recording the risks to safety identified within its operations and detailing how those risks are managed and monitored.

It is a legislative requirement of accreditation that RTOs have an appropriate SMS in place. RTOs are legally obliged to implement and then comply with their SMS (RSNL s101).

The level of detail included in an SMS will be determined by the complexity of the rail operations for which it has been designed.

Related documents

Last updated: 5 December 2017