Safe railways for Australia

Safety responsibilities


The Rail Safety National Law has been developed with the principles of shared responsibility and accountability. The law specifies the responsibilities that various parties have, which are summarised below:

Rail transport operators

Rail transport operators, which includes rail infrastructure managers and rolling stock operators, have a range of responsibilities. One of the key responsibilities is the general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of the operator's railway operations.

Rail safety workers

Rail safety workers undertake critical roles relating to rail safety. They have many responsibilities including taking reasonable care of themselves and others as well as complying with instructions given by rail transport operators.

Designers, manufacturers, suppliers etc

Those who design, commission, manufacture, supply, install or erects things to be used in connection with rail infrastructure or rolling stock must ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that the thing is safe. These responsibilities extend down the supply chain for the things supplied.

Those who load or unload freight from rolling stock

Those who load or unload freight on or from rolling stock must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the loading or unloading is carried out safely and so as to ensure the safe operation of the rolling stock.

The Regulator and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator

The Regulator exercises the functions of the ONRSR which has responsibility to facilitate the safe operations of rail transport in Australia, exhibit independence, rigour and excellence in carrying out its regulatory functions and promote safety and safety improvement as a fundamental objective in the delivery of rail transport in Australia.

The Public

The public have responsibilities where they interact with the railway, such as when passengers on railway property or members of the public using level crossings.

The above is a summary of responsibilities - the Rail Safety National Law details the full extent of responsibilities.

Last updated: 4 October 2013