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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Railcorp set to hit the charts

Aug 2, 2012News

We’ve seen the rise of UK teen pop group One Direction, Karise Eden from TV show the Voice has skyrocketed into the charts with her new album – now is Railcorp set to become the next big music sensation?

That’s right, Railcorp – the rail company – has just released its debut album. It hasn’t hit the Aria charts just yet – but hey, Elvis didn’t rise to stardom overnight either, did he?

The album is called ‘Fatigue Busters’ and if you like the sounds of moaning whales and softly chiming bells, this one is for you.

The critics aren’t really raving about it – in fact, if Railcorp’s album hits the mark, they probably all dozed off about two minutes into it.

Yes, Railcorp has created a CD of tunes created to help employees nod off. It’s got three cracking tracks, complete with the dulcet tones of a man telling you to relax, all designed to put you to straight to sleep. It appears this is Railcorp’s answer to the very serious issue of worker fatigue.

The issue of fatigue management in the rail industry is well known. Just recently we won the fight to retain 12-hour shift limits for drivers in NSW, and the Loco Division is constantly keeping a close eye on companies’ fatigue management policies to make sure they’re complying with industry standards and consistent with the latest research.

And as every shift worker knows – it’s not just the back to back hours you work that impacts on fatigue levels, the amount of deep sleep you get in between shifts is also very important. So it’s good that Railcorp has recognised that and that they’re thinking about fatigue…. It’s just that this CD isn’t quite what we’d expected….

Here’s a sneak preview of one of the classic hits.

A musical medley is an interesting attempt at dealing with the very serious issue of fatigue, and an interesting use of the time and resources in Railcorp. Just imagine what could be achieved if they put as much effort into thinking about rostering, breaks between shifts, allowing for regular breaks for toilet relief instead of trying to chain drivers to the seat, reducing turn around times and fixing staff moral.

What you do think of Railcorp’s first foray into the music industry? Can you see yourself taking this CD home and listening to it as you drift off to sleep?

8 Comments to “Railcorp set to hit the charts”

  • If Railcorp want to put their staff to sleep, they can always send them to the training college at Petersham . . . it’d be more effective than this CD . . .

  • More time could be spent by RailCorp in concentrating on actually managing fatigue based around the way diagrams and rosters are compiled. It seems that any major fatigue issues that are brought up at consultation are more about operational requirements (bare time for cribs, turnaround times etc) rather than the well being of the Drivers.

    There also seems to be some confusion as to how fatigue management is applied. For example, weekday early morning diagrams are generally short on hours and mileage but weekend diagrams are taken to the extremes? Does fatigue only affect workers 9 – 5 Monday – Friday?

    A proper study into how fatigue affects Drivers plus enforceable recommendations from such a study would be more help that this “new age, touchy feely” RailCorp.

  • Has anyone else noticed that at the end of the 20 minutes of soothing sounds there’s a harsh beeping noise, bound to shatter whatever state of relaxation you may have achieved? It’s cruel, lull you and then bang a pair of cymbals next to your head. 20 minute power naps only, then back to work!

    It’s a RailCorp thing, no mistake.

  • After listening to the sneak preview, I half expected the voice to say “Hello Clarice!” (re Silence of the Lambs) lol

  • After just 15seconds I was sound asleep. I was dreaming of Whales swimming all around me, then all of a sudden there was a shark, a load beeping noise woke me up. Thank you railcorp for the nightmare

  • Kevin pretty much has it, it’s all to do with wringing the absolute maximum out of the drivers and to hell with their health and fatigue. Of course, an incident happens on the network it’s purely the driver’s fault – he didn’t manage his fatigue after 10 days straight of late afternoons, maximum working etc. then getting switched to early AMs with a pajama day to split it up. Management have no duty of care to answer to there.

    On issue I think that can help us is to start with the diagrams, especially early morning and late arvos/nights where the bulk of the work is AFTER crib when we are getting more tired than at the start of the shift. It would help our fatigue levels if we got the bulk of the work BEFORE crib. ie. 4 hours straight on the one train, all stations yadda yadda……..”I find it intriguing that the TV ads every holidays advocate a break after driving cars for 2 hours, yet we get a 10 min turn around to go to the toilet, get drink, get to the other end, cut in and check the stopping pattern. That’s NOT a break (but I digress)

    2 to 3 hours of ring/report IS NOT OUR FAULT, we don’t design the diagrams. It’s always placed at the start of a shift. Actually I know why they designed it that way, so crew don’t disappear earlier than sign off. Can’t they make it so that we do the bulk of the work before Crib, ring/report then, and then a job towards the end so people don’t “disappear’? (What does it really matter anyway? The work’s done, it’s probably the only job in the world where management DON’T want you to find your own work) It will all stop when they bring in the swipe cards anyway.

    Actually, once the swipe cards come in, there is no reason why they can’t design diagrams where the bulk of the work is before crib. Nobody can disappear early anyway.

    Oh, that’s right managing fatigue is OUR problem, not theirs. Their only responsibility is the FAID score designed by uni students who’s idea of fatigue is a night on the grog and that’s the extent of it.

  • Will there be a sms on this? Maybe just a demo @ xmas training. Either way i know what my family will get a burnt copy of for xmas. Keep on training Railcorp, some day you might just get it!!!!

  • So now we all fail the medical, “Do you fall asleep” well YES you gave me a DVD to do just that

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