Slips, trips and falls on trains and at railway stations – Stages 2 & 3

Preventing slips, trips and falls on trains and at railway stations is an ongoing safety priority for rail transport operators. A number of engineering treatments and other safety measures are in place across the industry; yet a significant number of slip, trip and fall incidents involving passengers and other rail users continue to occur.

The first stage of the project identified that there is a lack of current research into slip, trip and fall events and the causative factors that lead to these types of incidents, suggesting the need for further investigation of this key area of safety. Regular passengers and passengers with reduced mobility were recruited to participate in this study to investigate with eye-tracking technology and retrospective interviews how they navigate stations.

Key Findings

  • Rates of risky behaviours prior to boarding a train were higher than the rates after alighting from a train
  • When participants were engaged in a risky behaviour they were most often looking for information related to the platform or the lift
  • Rail travel requires high a visual workload
  • A continuous search for information, and disconnect between the information needed and the information provided, may be a cause of passenger distraction and/or an increase in risky behaviour

Solutions focused on reducing the high visual workload for passengers may be the most successful to reduce slips, trips and falls.


New research using eye-tracking technology to investigate train-related falls

Funding / Grants

  • Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (2016 - 2019)

Other Team Members

This project also included researchers from QUT's Design Lab.