Episode 28 – Level Crossings

This episode is all about level crossing safety. Level crossings are a simple situation, repeated throughout the world, that illustrate a number of important safety concepts. Through accidents such as Hixon, Lockington, Kerang, Langenweddingen and Fox River Grove we can learn lessons about human factors, dependability trade-offs, safety management interfaces and risk prioritisation.

Episode 28 transcript is now available.

The Introduction to System Safety course in Canberra, 7-11 April 2014. Let me know via the feedback link above if you’re coming along.


  1. The study of train drivers and heavy vehicle drivers mentioned in the episode
  2. The Hixon accident report [pdf]
  3. The Lockington accident report [pdf]
  4. The Kerang rail safety investigation report [pdf]
  5. The Fox River Grove Highway/RailRoad Accident Report [pdf]
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  1. Gerry Richards
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    As a fairly new Product Safety Engineer, (nearly three years now, gosh), I have been listening to your Podcast’s and have/am listened/listening to your back catalogue as far back as Episode 4 (all that was available on I-Tunes). I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to you and I am sure I have learned from your subject matter.
    I hope that I can take the lessons that you try and impart and apply them in my work. Thank you.

    I look forward to listening to Level Crossings as I understand the concepts behind the Railway Safety measures that they have in place. It is quite topical with the statement and apology to all the relatives of the deceased etc. that they have put out recently.

  2. Drew Rae
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the comment Gerry, but especially thanks for the heads-up re the feed. My plugin was trimming the episode list (the rss feed) to the last 10 episodes. I’ve fixed it, so within a day or so itunes should be showing all the old episodes.

    • Gerry Richards
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Your welcome.
      I was surprised to get an instant reply.

  3. Michael Holloway
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    As usual, this episode was very interesting and enlightening. It also was a bit closer to my personal experiences than most. In my junior year in high school, I was nearly killed at an unprotected level crossing. The crossing has since been redesigned to include barrier gates, but at the time it had no gates, but only warning lights and bells. These warning devices did not function properly one Sunday afternoon, and so a friend and I had no idea that I’d need to slam on the brakes to avoid passing directly into the path of an oncoming train. We saw the train only at the last minute, because it was hidden by a bunch of trees.

  4. Brian Taylor
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    I have been listening to your podcast for quite some time know. Always looking forward to the new shows. about 15 tears ago I was a maintenance supervisor ion a plant that had a fatal industrial accident. I would like to hear your views on industrial accidents, As I have matured over the years I realize now that the root cause of the accident was a misguided culture of safety in the facility.

    Thanks for your time

    Brian Taylor
    Gadshill Ontario

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