On 17 July, a distressing incident unfolded when a Station Staff Member was injured whilst using a defibrillator at Glen Waverly Station.
While trying to provide CPR first aid, the staff member received a jolt from the automatic defibrillator device, which threw them backward.
Following the incident, a meeting was organised with Metro management, Station Staff, HSR, and the RTBU.
It deeply concerned the RTBU to be told the malfunction of the device was either due to the “stand clear” warning prior to emitting the charge was either too quiet to hear, or the device failed to emit the required message to ensure the safety of our members.
Neither the affected staff member nor those in the immediate vicinity heard any “stand clear” warning.
Fortunately, a coworker standing nearby was able to catch them when they were thrown back due to the shock. In the environment of a station with high foot traffic and noise, both circumstances could have led to a much worse outcome and requires urgent attention from Metro.
Despite the fanfare made during rail safety week, it is worrying that Metro’s words seem to fall empty as they try to sweep this issue under the rug. The RTBU is alarmed that Metro has failed to distribute any communications to members regarding this important safety issue.
In response to this event, we have raised the following concerns with Metro management:
- The HSR and deputy HSR at Glen Waverley station were not immediately made aware of the incident.
- Management attempted to question the injured member without their HSR or the RTBU being aware of the circumstances.
- No advice was sent out to other stations using similar devices regarding the need for caution.
We have also made it clear to Metro of our expectations following this incident:
- This incident has highlighted the need for proper defibrillator and first-aid training to be provided to all frontline staff.
- The policies and procedures regarding the operation of defibrillators need an urgent review
- The incident that occurred at Glen Waverley Station needs to be considered a safety concern, and thus shared with other stations. There is no evidence this issue is isolated to Glen Waverley.
To this end, if Metro fails (especially during Rail Safety Week) to advise our members of a potential hazard, then we reserve our right to do so.