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A Rail Safety Workers Safety Medical (or commonly known as a “Rail Cat Medical”) is a medical specifically designed for rail workers. The Rail Safety Workers Medical forms part of the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Workers which requires rail transport operators to have and implement a health and fitness management program.

There are three different types of Rail Workers Safety Medicals. Each of the three types of assessments are based upon whether the employee is performing safety critical or non-safety critical work.

Category 1 workers are the highest level of Safety Critical Worker. These are workers who require high levels of attentiveness to their task and for whom sudden incapacity or collapse (e.g. from a heart attack or blackout) may result in a serious incident affecting the public or the rail network. Single-operator train driving on the commercial network is an example of a Category 1 task.

Category 2 workers are those whose work also requires high levels of attentiveness, but for whom fail-safe mechanisms or the nature of their duties ensure sudden incapacity or collapse does not affect safety of the rail network. For example, in many cases signallers are classified as Category 2 because fail-safe signal control systems protect the safety of the network in case of worker incapacity.

Category 3 rail safety medicals applies to those rail workers who perform non safety critical work and whose health and fitness does not impact directly on the rail network. These individuals are however required under legislation to protect their own safety and that of other workers. This predominantly applies to around the track personnel who operate in an uncontrolled enviornment and thus may be at risk from moving rolling stock.


National Transport Commission

National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers

National Transport Commission

Fact Sheet


It is a legislative requirement that Rail Safety Worker Medicals (Rail Cat Medicals) be conducted periodicially once an individual has been employed. The frequency of these assessments differs according to the category of the rail safety worker.

Category 1: Safety Critical Worker

  • At time of commencement
  • Every 5 years until the age of 50
  • Every 2 years between the ages of 51 to 60
  • Every year after the age of 60

Category 2: Safety Critical Worker

  • At time of commencement
  • Every 5 years until the age of 50
  • Every 2 years between the ages of 51 to 60
  • Every year after the age of 60

Category 3: Around the track personnel in an uncontrolled environment

  • At time of commencement
  • At 40 years of age
  • Every 5 years after the age of 40

If you are an employee of a company working within the rail industry, your employer will be responsible for the payment of your health assessment.

Need Further Information?

Contact KINNECT to learn more about our Rail Safety Worker Medicals.

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