Safety messages are published by ONRSR periodically and are designed to focus on specific areas of rail safety concern, to share information between the regulator and the rail industry, and to identify positive steps to enhance rail safety.

Carousel Image Safety Alert RSA 2019 002 15 April 2019
Monday, June 28, 2021

Safety Message: Short warning times (wheel-rail interface issues)

ONRSR is reminding rail transport operators about a range of risks, causes and controls associated with short warning times at level crossings caused by wheel-rail interface issues.

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Safety Message: 'A1 SPADs’ – Limit of authority missed by train crew

ONRSR is reminding rail transport operators about a range of risks, causes and controls associated with A1 SPADs

Safety message train to train
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Safety Message: Train to train collisions - risks, causes & controls

ONRSR is reminding rail transport operators about a range of risks, causes and controls associated with train to train collisions.

Safety message: Digital recreation #3 - ONRSR Worksite Protection Incident Recreation and Learnings
Thursday, March 25, 2021

Safety Message - Digital recreation - Worksite protection incident recreation & learnings

ONRSR’s first digital animation for 2021 focuses on a worksite protection occurrence and provides key learnings and advice for operators in relation to work on track.

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Safety Message: Wabtec Air Brake System – advice to rail transport operators

An ONRSR investigation into a recent runaway incident revealed a feature of the Wabtec air brake system that is now highlighted to rail transport operators.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Safety Message: Preparedness and Awareness - Know Your Operation and Kit

The systems, machinery, hardware and software used to run rail operations are often necessarily complex, but ONRSR is becoming increasingly aware that operators are not always fully aware of the detailed operational specifications of their many and varied pieces of kit.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Safety Message: Track Worker Safety National Priority Project Update

ONRSR identified track worker safety as one of its inaugural national priorities in 2016, ensuring the issue was the subject of a sustained period of regulatory attention.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Safety message: Digital recreation #2 - Uncontrolled wagon movement

In this, ONRSR’s second digital re-creation, we look at the issue of uncontrolled movements and what happens when rail safety workers take shortcuts and ignore processes and protocols.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Safety Message: Network Controller competencies

ONRSR is advising operators to assess competency of network controllers following an emerging trend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Safety message: Emergency communications and readiness

Training for an emergency situation is important so that it becomes routine, as much as possible.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Safety message: Digital recreation - Safety critical communication

This digital recreation explores the issue of a communications breakdown that resulted in a near miss for a track worker

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Regulating during COVID-19 - Freight

Regardless of the current circumstances, the principles of risk management, risk control, and active supervision continue to be a legal and critical requirement even if there is a need to perform work in different conditions.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Safety Message - Rail Safety Officers: Powers under Rail Safety National Law

ONRSR’s rail safety officers (RSOs) are our primary interface with accredited rail transport operators and they are based in each of our offices around the country

Monday, February 10, 2020

Safety Message - Safety Management System Case Study - ONRSR and ASSCO

ONRSR recently worked with the Australian Society of Section Car Operators to address an outdated safety management system and safety culture. The experience serves as an important reminder to all rail transport operators to ensure safety is always the top priority

Friday, December 13, 2019

Safety Message - Load distribution for Road Rail Vehicles

rail transport operators are reminded that wheel loads effect safe guidance of vehicles on track with excessive loads leading to damaged rolling stock components and track structures.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Lessons Learned: ONRSR & GWA - Whyalla Runaway Incident

This document shares findings made from a runaway incident that occurred on 31 July 2019 in Whyalla, South Australia that should be used as an input to the risk review processes for operators managing a similar operating scenario.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Safety message: Passengers caught in rolling stock doors - Risks, causes and controls

ONRSR has developed new guidance for rail transport operators about the potential causes of incidents where people get stuck in rolling stock doors. It includes information regarding the existing controls available to eliminate or minimise the risk.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Safety Message - Track Condition and Derailment Risk

ONRSR is emphasising to all Rail Infrastructure Managers (RIMs) the increased risks posed by poorly maintained track following a series of recent derailments.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Safety Message: ONRSR Investigation Findings: Worksite Protection Incidents

ONRSR is reminding all operators of the importance of careful planning when carrying out Track Occupancy Authority and Local Possession Authority activities.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Safety Message: Unsafe Loading of Coal Wagons

This safety message is directed to coal loading operators and any other rolling stock operators responsible for loading coal into wagons.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Safety Message - Importance of a System Engineering Approach

Following recent incidents and observations the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) is reminding all operators of the importance of a system engineering approach.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Safety Message: Fatigue risk management programs and enterprise bargaining agreements

Some rail transport operators (RTO) may choose to apply arrangements from enterprise bargaining agreements to their fatigue risk management program. In this instance there are strict obligations that an RTO’s safety management system must meet.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Management of emergency working (unplanned works)

ONRSR reminds all rail transport operators to be aware of the inherent risks associated with undertaking emergency or unplanned maintenance.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Safety Message: Management of emergency working (unplanned works)

ONRSR is reminding all rail transport operators to be aware of the inherent risks associated with undertaking emergency or unplanned maintenance.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Safety Message: ATSB investigation report findings on use of bio-mathematical models of human fatigue – learnings for the rail industry

An ATSB-identified limitation of use of the bio-mathematical model FAID has relevance to the rail industry.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Asbestos found in imported friction wear plates in rail carriages – WA Government alert

Asbestos has recently been found in friction wear plates in the suspension systems of rail carriages.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Technical Review: Wheel Failure Incidents and Other Data in the Hunter Valley: 2013–2015

A review of the metallurgical and associated factors covering eight wheel failure incidents, issued for the benefit of like-for-like railways.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Technical Review: Wheel Failure Incidents and Other Data in the Hunter Valley: 2013–2015

Sets out ONRSR's road rail vehicle (RRV) human factors observations and analyses.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Safety Message: Preventing unbraked runaways of permanently coupled wagons with shared braking platforms

The ONRSR is concerned about the risk of permanently coupled pairs of freight wagons, which share a braking system, becoming uncoupled and resulting in a runaway. Rail operators are expected to reassess the risk/s associated with permanently coupled wagons and consider additional measures to mitigate these risks.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Safety Message: An emerging issue: 'shattered rim' wheel defects

Australian rail operators may need to review and revise risk registers to manage the hazards associated with ‘shattered rim’ following two recent incidents, which may be indicators of a larger safety issue for the industry.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Safety Message: Learning lessons from international rail incidents

Investigation reports into rail accidents overseas can provide valuable lessons learned which, when applied, may reduce the risk of these incidents occurring in Australia.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Safety Message: Managing the risks associated with roadrail vehicles

The ONRSR has been working closely with the rail industry to assist in the identification and management of risks associated with the operation of Road/Rail Vehicles (RRVs).

Last updated: Aug 30, 2021, 2:55:39 PM