Safe railways for Australia

Contractor management


Accredited rail transport operators (RTOs) are held directly accountable and responsible for safety within the scope of their operations.

Following the principle that safety cannot be contracted out, this accountability and responsibility for safety remains with the RTO even when they employ a person or organisation through contracts to carry out rail safety work.

Those who carry out rail safety work for an accredited operator (e.g. design, commission, manufacture, supply, install or build anything used in connection with rail infrastructure or rolling stock) also have obligations – known as general duties – to ensure what they do is safe.

RTOs and contractors must agree on how they will manage safety during their contract arrangement, which can mean either:

  • the contractor applying the relevant systems, procedures and reporting imposed by the RTO’s safety management system
  • the RTO incorporating the contractor’s systems and procedures into its safety management system.
Last updated: 6 September 2013