QR staff untrained in repairs: ETU

CENTRAL Queenslanders and Queensland Rail staff were being put at risk by Queensland Rail which was using unqualified staff to attend to faults at local level crossings, the Electrical Trades Union claimed yesterday.

ETU Central Queensland organiser Craig Giddins said QR was increasingly using general staff instead of qualified signal technicians to fix faults at level crossings in Central Queensland, compromising the safety of level crossings in the region.

“The latest incident was at the Rosewood Road level crossing at Wycarbah, west of Rockhampton, on August 30,” Mr Giddins said.

“At 12.45am that day, a standby team of a signal electrician and an electrician was called to a fault at the Rosewood Road level crossing.

“The standby electricians deemed themselves, using QR’s self-assessment protocols, a safety risk, due to fatigue caused by QR’s current staff shortage. In response, the on-call supervisor sent two staff members, with no electrical qualifications to the job.”

He said the end result was the level crossing was out of action for 12 hours and this was the third such incident in recent times.

“The growing practice of sending unqualified staff to faults on such safety-critical equipment as level crossings is unacceptable,” Mr Giddins said.



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