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Safety: bright lights a hazard

Feb 24, 2011News

A number of members raised concerns about lighting issues within the new Epping to Chatswood rail corridor, and possible short-term and long-term effects on drivers’ health and welfare.

RailCorp initially denied any concerns existed that were being raised by our members. There is now evidence that members concerns were correct and their health and welfare was compromised.

The lights between Epping and Macquarie Uni have been turned down; this was achieved by turning off emergency lights and leaving one normal light on every 15 metres. The flicker level in a drivers’ cab was measured and a flicker rate of 6hz was established, well above the tolerable level when operating within the ECRL.

Further testing with the changed lighting at this level to see if it falls within the recommended design figure of 3hz is still being conducted. These tests will also have to include:

• Bi-directional running
• The intensity of the LED signal, wash out from bi-directional red signals, emergency exit and phone lights levels will have to be checked.

Further investigations are being organised to clarify and identify any outstanding health and welfare issues.