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Socio-technical analysis of technology to improve track worker safety

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Mitchell McclanachanMitchell Mcclanachan, Nusra NoorudheenNusra Noorudheen, Geoffrey Dell, Yvonne ToftYvonne Toft
Track workers work in a potentially dangerous environment. Being struck by a train or another rail vehicle can be fatal and only requires a momentary lapse in attention. With advances in technology there is the possibility of using new technology to increase the safety of rail workers. Current devices and systems are available that provide an additional layer of protection to track workers. These range from Automatic Track Warning Systems (ATWS) that inform workers of approaching trains, to systems that incorporate signalling and locomotive control systems where trains are automatically stopped if workers are still on track. With a wide range of technologies available there are a number of questions such as: what are the safety benefits, will they improve safety or is there a potential for a reduction in safety? The analysis of new track worker safety technology needs to investigate both the technology and its integration with track workers. This paper discusses the methods and results from a Human Factors - Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) study into a range of track worker safety technologies. It is possible that the analysis method could be reused and also encourage international collaboration into track worker safety research.


Category 4 - CRC Research Income


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Sydney, Australia


CRC for Rail Innovation

Place of Publication

Brisbane, Qld

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Railway Engineering; Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability (IRIS);

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

World Congress on Railway Research

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