TAS (Track Awareness System), designed and built in Australia by a partnership with Imtram PTY. LTD. and Grey Innovation, is an automatic track warning system.
This technology is designed to assist in the prevention of near misses and accidents to track crews when undertaking maintenance and construction activities. Despite the use of lookout protection, these occurrences are still being reported. They include track workers and machinery working adjacent to operating lines as well as on working lines.
Rail operators are required to eliminate or reduce risks to safety so far as is reasonably practicable. This includes the risks and hazards associated with work on the track. Operators should review their risk registers regularly and ensure controls are appropriate and implemented correctly. This includes keeping abreast of new technologies and
methods of work and adopting these where they are reasonably practicable. Potential contributing factors listed are knowledge and experience, fatigue, time pressure, distraction, noise, poor visibility, social norms and lack of coordination between different groups.
The TAS is designed as a tool for track workers and lookouts. It adds an additional layer of protection by providing longer warning times as well as audible and visual alarms. These alarms can also be carried in vehicles on the worksite so that all at risk are warned of track vehicles and rolling stock entering the danger zone. It is aimed to provide further warning to those at risk to vacate the track in time.