Monday, December 20, 2021
ONRSR is reminding rail transport operators about a range of risks, causes and controls associated with passenger falls between the platform and train.
Such incidents usually occur near passenger doors although falls into the gap between the platform and train can occur anywhere along the platform.
Previous passenger fall incidents have resulted in injuries or fatalities. More serious incidents can occur where a passenger’s fall is undetected and the train begins to move away, crushing the person stuck in the gap between the platform and train.
ONRSR’s investigations into passenger falls between the train and platform have identified causes and contributing factors across the four areas listed below. While not exhaustive and given the range of operational environments within the Australian rail industry, the following causes and contributing factors, and controls, should be noted.
1. Organisational factors e.g.
2. Technological or equipment factors e.g.
3. Environmental factors e.g.
4. Individual factors e.g.
While not an exhaustive list, ONRSR is aware of the following controls that are available and have been used in railways both in Australia and overseas. Rail Transport Operators (RTO) should note that there are safety and operational benefits and possible detriments associated with each control. Operators must consider a range of factors, including the likelihood of the hazard and the degree of harm to determine what controls are reasonably practicable to implement (see the ONRSR Guideline – Meaning of duty to ensure safety so far as is reasonably practicable SFAIRP for more information).
Some of the engineering controls that railways can employ to mitigate the risks associated with passenger falls include the following:
1. Platform barriers and protections controls are controls that can be installed on the platform and provide a physical barrier to prevent passengers falling in the gap between the platform and train. Examples include:
2. Platform Gap Controls are controls that can be installed on the platform to minimise the gap between the platform and train. Examples include:
3. Rolling stock controls are controls that can be installed on rolling stock and can minimise the risk of falls when passengers board or alight the train. Examples include:
4. Emergency buttons and intercoms, such as those located on the platform or on the rolling stock itself, can be used by other passengers to notify the train crew or platform staff that someone has fallen in the gap between the platform and train thus preventing the train moving if someone has fallen.
Some of the administrative controls that railways can employ to mitigate the risks associated with passenger falls include the following:
This information is provided as guidance only and may not be applicable to all railways.