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Responsibilities under the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers
Responsibilities under the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers

Who is responsible for what?

Updated over a week ago

Rail transport operators, rail safety workers and Health Professionals have various responsibilities under the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers (National Standard). Excerpts from the National Standard are included below:

3.1. Rail transport operators

The rail transport operator has a legal responsibility under the relevant rail safety legislation to ensure systems are in place to protect the safety of the public and the network. This includes a responsibility to ensure the health and fitness of workers is monitored and does not jeopardise rail safety. As an employer, the rail transport operator also has a duty of care under occupational health and safety / work health and safety legislation to the safety of its workers.

Risk categorisation of rail safety workers is determined by the rail operator i.e which roles are Category 1,2 or 3.

3.3. Rail safety workers

Rail safety workers have a duty of care to themselves and others. They should understand the implications of their role on the safety of the public and network, and the importance of their health and fitness to rail safety. They have a responsibility to notify the employer of any temporary or ongoing health condition or change in health status that is likely to affect their ability to perform their work safely. They must also provide complete and accurate information concerning their medical history to the assessing Authorised Health Professional, as well as comply with any review requirements of a rail safety worker health assessment.

3.4. Health professionals

The Authorised Health Professional or Chief Medical Officer (in keeping with company practice) should liaise with the worker’s general practitioner and treating specialists, where appropriate, to clarify information relating to the worker’s current health status. Such communication should occur with the consent of the worker and should be limited to health issues that impact on rail safety. Where specialist referral is required to determine a rail safety worker’s fitness for duty, the referral should be made by the Authorised Health Professional or Chief Medical Officer (in keeping with company practice) and they should request that the report be copied to the worker’s general practitioner. Where a worker is already seeing a specialist, referrals for specialist opinion or further investigation for fitness for duty may be made to that specialist. Referrals made for the ongoing management of the worker’s health should be made by the treating doctor, not by the Authorised Health Professional. The ongoing treatment and management of medical conditions should be the responsibility of the worker’s general practitioner, treating specialist and other healthcare providers. Authorised Health Professionals should communicate and consult with the relevant providers to ensure the effective management of the worker’s health.

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