S81 of the RSA requires railway operators to report on certain types of incidents, accidents or near misses that occur within their operations
Section 82 of the Rail Safety Act 2010
continues the requirement under the Rail Safety Act 1998
for railway operators to report on certain types of incidents, accidents or near misses that occur within their operations. The term "occurrence" has arisen because matters affecting rail safety do not necessarily result in accidents and disruption, and lessons can still be learnt when these are avoided (near misses). The "prescribed manner" for reporting occurrences is to use the Department of Transport "Notification of Occurrence" form - see under Forms.
A National Database for reporting occurrences is currently under review and further development.
Classification of notifiable occurrences
Regulation 32 contains details of Category A and Category B notifiable occurrences; however accredited rail transport operators are encouraged to continue using the standard ON-S1-WA, available on request.
Other rail safety regulators give the standards for classification of occurrences as ON-S1 which details the classification categories and OC-G1 which has guidelines to the system's use. ON-S1-WA combines these two documents.
This occurrence notification system was developed by Australian regulators to facilitate consistent data collection across all states, allow publication of appropriate national data the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and to an extent allow comparison of Australian with data from other countries.
Section 44 of the Act and Regulation 29 require accredited organisations to submit a monthly return of information on the number of notifiable occurrences that have occurred and a new requirement for the number of drug and alcohol tests conducted and the number of positive results. The return also requests details of the length of the operator's track and a breakdown of passenger and freight train kilometres travelled in the month. This allows data to be normalised, i.e. made comparable according to the scale of operations and length of the rail network.
The Monthly Incident Normalising Factors Form used to provide monthly data and calculate normalised data can be found under Forms.