For some time now, the RTBU has been campaigning for better safety for railway workers. We know that front line rail workers receive abuse whether it be physical or verbal, on a daily basis. This is not okay which is why the RTBU has begun a campaign to introduce tougher legislation for assaulting a public transport worker, increased Authorised Officers and two-up for all front line workers.
Through pressure from the RTBU safety campaign, we have managed to get V/Line to agree to a Risk Assessment for conductors travelling on trains.
We recently established a working party with Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and Delegates from each region of V/Line around Conductors de-training passengers from trains to road coaches and for travelling on road coaches during line closures.
We are proud to say that the RTBU through working closely with representatives have come up with a new work instruction to help support all conductors when they need to travel on rail replacement coaches.
Off the back of that, we have put further pressure on the company in relation to the escalated assaults that continue to occur on the V/Line network. Thus far in 2018, there have been more than 1,000 incidents reported that V/Line staff have experienced. This is absolutely disgraceful and staff do not deserve to go to work and be abused.
Because of this, we have got V/Line to agree to establishing another working party to get a risk assessment organised for conductors de-training passengers from trains and road coaches. The process of Conductors de-training passengers and escorting them to and/from road coaches is one that leave Conductors vulnerable and at risk of abuse which is why the RTBU wants to work towards mitigating these risks of abuse.
The first risk assessment meeting occurred on Friday 6 July 2018 where the relevant people from V/Line and the RTBU all got around the table to discuss the parameters around this.
Since then, another meeting has occurred and further discussion will occur at the third meeting on 6 September. While this is still at its early stages, it is a long process to ensure that all bases ae covered.
I would like to thank Delegate Jeff Ford along with other Delegates and HSRs who have been involved for their assistance in getting this organised.
The RTBU will continue to put pressure on the Ministers office and the various operators to provide better protection and safety for employees.
The RTBU also wants to encourage members to continue to report these incidents when they occur to both the RTBU at firstname.lastname@example.org and V/Line. Remember that no incident is too small or large to be reported. If incidents aren’t reported, then it makes our argument much harder as we have no statistics to rely on.