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We continued to move towards our goal that no one is harmed at work or on our network by developing a stronger, more proactive safety culture across the business.

We implemented the second year of our three-year Pathway to Zero’ safety strategy and continued to support national safety regulation and reform. We also continued to improve our performance against safety KPIs, achieving the lowest ever Medically Treated Injury and All Injury Frequency Rates, and for the first time, a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate of zero.

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During the year, we progressed or completed initiatives related to each of the strategy’s four themes – organisation, systems, leaders and people. We also added new tactics and workstreams to the strategy to respond to emerging risks.


The organisation theme is about reorganising our business structures and processes to support a more proactive safety culture. We want our workforce to be more involved in the health and safety function, with our line managers increasingly taking over this function, with advice from our Health and Safety professionals. In 2018–19, we:

  • Undertook the implementation of the Enterprise Risk Management System (ERMS). This element aims to implement a standardised, integrated system for managing all risks across the network – including rail safety, work health and safety, and environmental risks – to ensure we have the capabilities required to meet the growing needs of the business. During this year, we prioritised the implementation of the ERMS to ensure we met the June 2019 implementation target. We trained more than 200 people to use the across all parts of the business.
  • Completed improvements to our safety and risk governance arrangements. Following independent and internal reviews of these arrangements in 2017-18, this year we established a Technical Working Group and a Risk, Safety and Environment Working Group to work alongside our Operational, Safety and Environment Review Committee (OSERC). These new working groups will allow OSERC to be more strategic and provide better oversight of changes to our safety culture.


This theme is about integrating and improving our safety information systems, so our leaders and people can quickly and easily obtain the tools, processes and documentation they need to manage risks related to safety. During the year, we:

  • Implemented Phase 1 of our integrated safety management program. This involved reviewing the current management systems, defining the improvements required to ensure they meet our internal and regulatory requirements, and identifying opportunities to improve integration and remove duplication. We will deliver the planned changes in Phase 2 over the coming year.
  • Progressed the implementation of an electronic track worker system. We conducted reviews to better understand how such a system could be successfully introduced across our networks, and what changes would be needed to deliver the best results. Our target date for delivering the system is December 2019.


This theme focuses on continuing to build our leaders’ capabilities to set the tone and direction of a proactive safety culture through actions and behaviours that inspire their teams to make safe choices and actively manage risk. This year, we:

  • Continued to implement our safe work interaction program. This program creates opportunities for our leaders to engage in conversations with workers in the field about the risks associated with the activities they are undertaking and how they can be managed most effectively.
  • Made significant progressed in developing a safe work interaction system, which will consolidate the business units’ separate activities on one system. We selected Deloitte to partner with us on this project, and it provided input on current best practices. We plan to roll out this system over the coming year, including providing training for all our frontline leaders.


The fourth theme is about motivating our people to care deeply for the safety and wellbeing of themselves and their workmates and empower them to take personal responsibility for their work. This year, we:

  • Continued to implement our fatal and severe risks program. This program encourages our people to be aware of the hazards around them, think about these hazards, and implement life-saving controls and behaviours – including stopping the work if effective controls are not in place. Although we still have a way to go to meet industry best practice standards, we made progress in improving safety performance by teams at all levels. Key achievements include:
  • A significant decrease of at-risk driver behaviours following implementation of a motor vehicle strategy
  • The approval of a level crossing strategy to better manage risks and reduce incidents at road and rail crossings
  • Continued to implement our fitness for work program. We continued to review our current health and fitness assessments and localised wellness initiatives across our business. We also reviewed our approach managing mental health in the workplace and as a result, launched a new My Wellbeing intranet page. The launch coincided with Rail R U OK?Day, a national industry-wide event focused on encouraging our staff to talk about their health and wellbeing.


We continued to support the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) and its work to promote a consistent, national approach to regulatory reform. We were an early adopter of the new portal released the year. The portal provides a secure digital channel that facilitates the easy and reliable exchange of information. We now use the system to submit all reports and notifications.


Our safety results are showing a positive downward trend with the lowest ever numbers achieved for All Injury, Lost Time Injury and Medically Treated Injury frequency rates. For the first time, we achieved zero Lost Time Injuries, and since 2006, our All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR) has reduced by almost 90 percent.

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