Transport safety trio to give USC seminar

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Transport safety trio to give USC seminar


14 January 2013

Three leading international experts in using human factors to understand and prevent accidents in road and rail transport will present a seminar at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 16 January from 2-4pm.

The seminar, Making Transport Systems Safe Through Human Factors Analysis, will bring together people working in the transport, safety and related industries, in government and private organisations, as well as academics.

Host and presenter Associate Professor Paul Salmon, who joined USC from Monash University three months ago as a Senior Research Fellow, said the seminar would use case studies to enhance understanding of human contributions to major transportation accidents.

“We need new approaches to improve transport safety as technology and systems continue to develop,” he said.

Associate Professor Salmon will give a combined psychological and systems analysis of the Kerang rail level crossing tragedy of 2007 in which a loaded semi-trailer truck struck a passenger train on a rail level crossing in Victoria, killing 11 train passengers and injuring 14 passengers and the truck driver.

“My presentation will give an overview of two analysis approaches and make recommendations designed to improve rail level crossing safety,” he said.

Professor Neville Stanton, who is Chair of Human Factors in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment at the University of Southampton, England, will examine the Ladbroke Grove Rail Crash of October, 1999.

It was a high-speed collision between two trains in London, resulting in the deaths of 31 people including both train drivers. Professor Stanton was an expert witness in the civil litigation that followed the British inquiry.

Dr Guy Walker’s presentation, “Human factors in rail transport: forgotten issue or just hiding?”, will examine changes in railway operations and data recording in relation to human factors and safety.

Dr Walker is a Lecturer in Human Factors at Heriot Watt University’s School of the Built Environment in Scotland. He has worked on projects ranging from vehicle driver situational awareness to air traffic control.

Associate Professor Salmon said the two UK academics were visiting USC for a couple of weeks to work on major research projects about road user behaviour at rail level crossings and interactions between different road users such as drivers and cyclists.

Anyone who would like to register for the seminar should call 5456 5752 or email by close of business on Tuesday 15 January.

Julie Schomberg

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