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A Rail Safety Workers Medical is a medical specifically designed for rail safety workers under the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers.

The Rail Safety Workers Medical forms part of the Transport (Rail Safety) Act 2010. This act requires rail transport operators to manage the risks posed from worker ill health by implementing a health and fitness management program. This program ensures that rail safety worker health is at the required level to safely perform the job.

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The medical information gathered during the assessment is confidential, with an employer only receiving a summary of the prospective employee’s fitness. If an individual does not pass a Category 1 assessment, they should not be precluded from Category 3 work. Should they be unfit for Category 3 work, they are unfit to perform any rail safety work.

There are three different types of Rail Safety Worker Medicals. Each of the three types of assessments are completed by authorised health professionals and are based upon whether the employee is performing safety or non-safety critical work.

Rail Category Medicals

Rail Category 1 Medicals

This medical assessment applies to rail safety workers who perform safety critical work. The ill health or sudden incapacity of these workers may result in a serious incident affecting public safety or the rail network. This type of work includes the flagman (hand signalling), train drivers and shunters.


Rail Category 2 Medicals

This medical assessment applies to rail safety workers who perform safety critical work where incapacity will not impact others. This type of work includes train guards.


Rail Category 3 Medicals

This applies to workers who undertake non-safety critical work and whose health and fitness does not impact directly on the rail network. However, they need to protect their own safety and that of other workers.

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How frequently should Rail Safety Worker Medicals be completed?

It is a legislative requirement that medicals are conducted periodically once an individual has been employed. The frequency of these assessments differs according to the category of the rail safety worker.

Category 1
  • On employment commencement
  • 5 yearly to age 50
  • 2 yearly between age 50 to 60
  • Yearly from age 60
Category 2
  • As per Category 1
Category 3
  • On employment commencement
  • At age 40
  • 5 yearly from age 40

Who pays for Rail Safety Worker Medicals?

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.

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