UGL and ARA unveil trackSAFE Foundation


The formation of a non-government rail-safety body focusing in part on level crossings has been met with some surprise by the national road transport lobby. <br /><br /> UGL, the infrastructure services company with a major exposure to the rail sector, and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) combined this week to launch the trackSAFE Foundation initiative at the AusRAIL PLUS 2011 conference in Brisbane, at a time when most attention was on events in Canberra. One focus of trackSAFE's is to “improve public education and awareness around level crossing safety in Australia”.

By Rob McKay | November 25, 2011

The formation of a non-government rail-safety body focusing in part on level crossings has been met with some surprise by the national road transport lobby.

UGL, the infrastructure services company with a major exposure to the rail sector, and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA)
combined this week to launch the trackSAFE Foundation initiative at the AusRAIL PLUS 2011 conference in Brisbane, at a time when most attention was on events in Canberra.

One focus of trackSAFE's is to "improve public education and awareness around level crossing safetyin Australia".

"The main objective of trackSAFEis to reduce level crossing, trespass and suicide incidents on the rail network,"
the Founding Chairman of the Foundation board, UGL Chief Executive Infrastructure and Rail
Andy Summers, says.

"By improving public awareness and safety, this will in turn have a positive impact on the wellbeing of rail industry employees, who are often the silent victims of network incidents.

"There has been a significant amount of research and improvement in level crossing safety over the last decade.

"However, with over 30 fatalities and 1,000 near collisions just at level crossings each year there is undoubtedly more work to be done."

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says the announcement was the first it had heard of the initiative.

National Manager for Government Relations and Communications Bill McKinley says that as far as he is aware had no contact with the trucking industry during its formation and certainly none with the ATA.

"Level crossing safety is an important issue for the trucking industry, so the ATA is very pleased the rail industry has set up the trackSAFE Foundation," McKinley adds.

"We’re also flattered the rail industry has named its foundation to capitalise on the reputation and credibility of the ATA’s trackSAFE program.

"When customers want to deal with trucking businesses that have high safety standards, they turn to firms with the TruckSafe logo. In Victoria, TruckSafe is even a registered code of practice.

"TruckSafe companies are twice as safe as non-accredited businesses.

"We hope the trackSAFE Foundation delivers the same excellent results for rail safety."

 

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