Safe railways for Australia

Notifiable occurrences

A notifiable occurrence means an accident or incident associated with railway operation and are categorised as follows:

  • Category A - the most serious, which must be immediately orally reported by phoning the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on 1800 011 034 and following up with a written report to ONRSR within 72 hours
  • Category B - which must be reported to ONRSR within 72 hours.

Prescribed Incidents

From 1 July 2019, it will be mandatory for rail operators to undertake Drug and Alcohol testing following a prescribed incident, unless ONRSR or the Police have tested.

A prescribed incident means an incident associated with railway operations described in Regulation 28 (7) of the Rail Safety National Law National Regulations.

While most prescribed incidents are already immediately reportable as category A occurrences, note certain SPADs / LRTAEs for both trains & trams, as well as serious breaches of network rules (specifically in relation to track work procedural breaches) are also prescribed incidents.

A list of prescribed incidents, with examples of serious breaches, can be accessed via the link below - Prescribed Incidents: Regulation Amendment from 1 July 2019.

Prescribed incidents, as for category A occurrences, must be reported immediately.


  • these new prescribed incident requirements do not apply in Western Australia
  • New South Wales current prescribed incident requirements are unchanged
  • Category A notifiable occurrence reporting requirements are unchanged.

All notifiable occurrences can be reported via the ONRSR Portal. The ONRSR Portal is accessed via the ONRSR Portal link on the ONRSR homepage or from here.

Last updated: 28 November 2018