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RailCorp’s shoddy handling of Springwood fatality

Jun 21, 2011Update

The response by RailCorp to a recent fatality at Springwood Station is an example of poor communication and potential negligence of their employer responsibilities.

A man who was last seen waiting for a train on the platform at Springwood was found dead the following morning on the tracks at the platform. The discovery was reported to police by a passerby, but the four Cityrail train drivers and seven freight drivers who has passed through the station during the night, and the station manager who last saw him, were not informed of the event.

The first these workers heard of the event was when they were contacted by the police or when police turned up at their homes asking them to come to the station to provide a statement.

When the union was informed of the situation by these alarmed drivers it immediately sought legal advice and other assistance was provided. RailCorp remained silent on the incident, offering none of the staff legal assistance, debriefing or counselling.

Employees have the right to expect their employer will meet its duty of care responsibilities for workers, but this incident highlights a callous rather than a caring response.

The Division has written to RailCorp seeking a meeting so we can express our views and develop a protocol on what should happen so no member is ever treated this way again.