Keeping rail on track: Preliminary findings on safety culture in Australian rail

Verna Blewett, Sophia Rainbird, Jill Dorrian, Jessica Paterson, Marcus Cattani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


'Safety culture' is identified in the literature as a critical element of healthy and safe workplaces. How can rail organizations ensure that consistently effective work health and safety cultures are maintained across the diversity of their operations? This paper reports on research that is currently underway in the Australian rail industry aimed at producing a Model of Best Practice in Safety Culture for the industry. Located in rail organizations dedicated to the mining industry as well as urban rail and national freight operations, the research examines the constructs of organizational culture that impact on the development and maintenance of healthy and safe workplaces. The research uses a multi-method approach incorporating quantitative (survey) and qualitative (focus groups, interviews and document analysis) methods along with a participative process to identify interventions to improve the organization and develop plans for their implementation. The research uses as its analytical framework the 10 Platinum Rules, from the findings of earlier research in the New South Wales (Australia) mining industry, Digging Deeper. Data collection is underway at the time of writing and preliminary findings are presented at this stage. The research method may be adapted for use as a form of organizational review of safety and health in organizational culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4230-4236
Number of pages7
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • keyword five
  • multi-method research
  • organizational culture
  • rail safety
  • safety culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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