A notifiable occurrence means an accident or incident associated with railway operations - either Category A or B or other prescribed incident.

Rail transport operators are required to verbally report Category A notifiable occurrences and prescribed incidents (rail safety incidents) to ONRSR immediately - by phoning 1800 430 888 (24 hours / 7 days).

Written reports of Category A and B notifiable occurrences are also required and must be submitted within 72 hours of the occurrence via the ONRSR Portal. Refer to the Reporting Requirements for Notifiable Occurrences for guidance on what information should be included in the report.

(Note: Following changes to the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL) in July 2019, a separate report to the ATSB is no longer required.)

Ongoing trend monitoring of reported notifiable occurrences provides vital information for input into ONRSR’s risk-based regulatory decision making processes that inform its work program.

Details of the specific occurrences that must be reported are specified under Regulation 57 & Regulation 28 of the Rail Safety National Law National Regulations and provided below - read on for clarification and definitions.

Any of the following notifiable occurrences is a Category A notifiable occurrence

  • an accident or incident that has caused death, serious injury or significant property damage;
  • a running line derailment;
  • a running line collision between rolling stock;
  • a collision at a level crossing between rolling stock and either a road vehicle or a person;
  • a suspected terrorist attack;
  • an accident or incident involving a significant failure of a safety management system that could have caused death, serious injury or significant property damage;
  • any other accident or incident likely to generate immediate or intense public interest or concern.

Any of the following notifiable occurrences is a Category B notifiable occurrence (unless that occurrence is also a Category A notifiable occurrence)—

  • a derailment, other than a running line derailment;
  • a collision involving rolling stock, other than a collision described under Category A;
  • an incident at a level crossing, other than a collision described under Category A;
  • an incident in which a vehicle or vessel strikes an associated railway track structure;
  • the passing of a stop signal, or a signal with no indication, by rolling stock without authority;
  • an accident or incident where rolling stock exceeds the limits of authorised movement given in a proceed authority;
  • a rolling stock run-away;
  • a failure of a signalling or communications system that endangers, or that has the potential to endanger, the safe operation of trains or the safety of people, or to cause damage to adjoining property;
  • any slip, trip or fall by a person on railway premises;
  • a person being caught in the door of any rolling stock;
  • a person suffering from an electric shock directly associated with railway operations;
  • any situation where a load affects, or could affect, the safe passage of trains or the safety of people, or cause damage to adjoining property;
  • an accident or incident involving dangerous goods that affects, or could affect, the safety of railway operations or the safety of people, or cause damage to property;
  • any breach of a network rule;
  • any breach of the work scheduling practices and procedures set out in the rail transport operator’s fatigue risk management program;
  • the detection of an irregularity in any rail infrastructure (including electrical infrastructure) that could affect the safety of railway operations or the safety of people;
  • the detection of an irregularity in any rolling stock that could affect the safety of railway operations;
  • a fire or explosion on, in, or near, rail infrastructure or rolling stock that endangers the safety of railway operations or the safety of 1 or more people, or causes service terminations or track or station closures;
  • any incident on railway property where a person inflicts, or is alleged to have inflicted, an injury on another person;
  • a suspected attempt to suicide;
  • the notification that a rail safety worker, when required to do so under the drug and alcohol management program of a rail transport operator, has failed to submit to a test in accordance with the testing regime set out in the operator’s drug and alcohol management program;
  • the notification that a rail safety worker has returned a result to a test undergone by the worker in accordance with the testing regime set out in the drug and alcohol management program of a rail transport operator that suggests that the worker was in breach of the operator's drug and alcohol management program at a relevant time;
  • the infliction of wilful or unlawful damage to, or the defacement of, any rail infrastructure or rolling stock that could affect the safety of railway operations or the safety of people;
  • a security incident associated with railway premises that affects the safety of railway operations, including an act of trespass, vandalism, sabotage or theft that could affect the safety of railway operations.

Prescribed incidents are described under Regulation 28 and have caused or have the potential to cause serious injury, death or significant property damage. They may be Category A or Category B occurrences. For guidance on which occurrences are prescribed incidents, and therefore trigger mandatory testing see the Drug and Alcohol: Requirements for Rail Transport Operators fact sheet.

Drug and alcohol testing following an immediately reportable occurrence is mandated for all occurrences that are prescribed incidents. It is mandatory for accredited rail transport operators to:

  • Immediately report prescribed incidents to ONRSR by phoning 1800 430 888, and
  • Drug and alcohol test rail safety workers involved in a prescribed incident, unless:
    • the drug and alcohol testing has been conducted by ONRSR or the police, or
    • the operator has been notified by ONRSR that drug and alcohol testing is not required, or
    • there is a reasonable excuse for not doing so.

While prescribed incidents include many occurrences that are already reportable as Category A, they also include certain Category B occurrences, such as certain Signals Passed at Danger (SPADs) and Light Rail or Tram Authority Exceeded (LRTAEs) occurrences, as well as serious breaches of network rules (specifically in relation to track work procedural breaches) - please refer to the document Prescribed Incidents for examples.

Note:

The requirements for prescribed incidents in NSW (Regulation 28 (2)) are unchanged and do not apply in Western Australia. ONRSR will continue to undertake post-incident testing following Category A occurrences in these jurisdictions.

*Please note that the 1800 phone number listed above is for reporting of notifiable Category A occurrences only. If you would like to report a safety concern, please contact the ONRSR office in your state.

Last updated: Oct 7, 2021, 7:46:34 PM