Role of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator
The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) deploys its investigative resources in order to establish whether a breach of the Rail Safety National Law has occurred.
ONRSR will investigate in order to determine:
- the causes and whether there has been a breach of legislation;
- whether action has been taken or needs to be taken to prevent a recurrence of an incident and/or to secure compliance with the law;
- lessons to be learnt and whether there is a requirement to influence the law and industry guidance; and
- what response is appropriate to a breach of the law.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is responsible for identifying the causes of accidents it investigates in order to improve safety; it does not allocate blame.
Working arrangements agreed between ONRSR and the ATSB reflect both their respective statutory duties and the need to ensure efficient and effective liaison. ONRSR and the ATSB have a Memorandum of Understanding in place.
For more information about investigations at ONRSR is available here.
Role of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) rail safety investigation role occurs concurrently with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.
The ATSB investigates selectively. When the ATSB investigates an accident or incident, investigators will seek to determine its circumstances, identify any safety issues, and encourage relevant safety action. The aim of all ATSB investigations is to prevent the occurrence of other accidents and incidents, rather than to assign blame or liability.
More information about the ATSB’s role is here.
Rail safety investigations and reports are available here.
NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations
The Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) is NSW’s independent transport safety investigator. Its mission is to improve safety outcomes and enhance public confidence through independent investigation, sharing of lessons learnt, and engagement with the transport sector.
OTSI investigates safety incidents and accidents involving bus, ferry, and rail services and rail freight operations in NSW to understand why events occurred and to make recommendations to prevent them from happening again. It uses a ‘no-blame’ approach and does not apportion blame or liability.
More information about OTSI and their investigation reports are available here.
Updated 3 January 2023