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Safety under threat as driver training fails grade

Jan 13, 2016News

The commissioning of the new Granville to Westmead signals have seen a notice of dispute lodged with Sydney Trains after the headways “upgrades” have raised new safety concerns.

A number of problems have already been noted, and questions have been asked about the quality of training that has been provided to drivers, with many briefings only given in the form of safety critical documents.

Errors have been found in the maps distributed in the SCDs and the information given to drivers is not up to the standard that it should be for the safety critical nature of the changes that drivers will have to work with.

These issues have a real chance of leading to safety risks.

While drivers should not be held responsible for issues that are out of their control, there are several things you can do to maintain safety on the rails.

  1. Until the new infrastructure issues are ironed out, drivers should be extra watchful when working with the changed signals
  2. Pay particular attention to the new designated outer home and home signals on the down suburban/main, the new YL and EYL boards (both up and down), and changes to the location, meaning of or application of safe working.
  3. Drivers are to familiarise themselves with the relevant changes via the safety critical documents, seek assistance from a qualified/competent manager for clarification of any safety critical information, request more training if required and should at all times drive their trains in a safe manner over these sections of the network until they are competent and confident of delivering safe services to the network.

Please provide feedback to the union any information or experiences you have while using the new infrastructure, as the more evidence we have will ensure we can hold management responsible for the unacceptable briefings that drivers have been given so far.

The Locomotive Division has requested an urgent meeting to work through these issues.