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      Human Resources and Rail Safety

Within SteamRanger two Managers are tasked to work in concert to recuit and develop volunteers as our most valuable assets working in a safety focussed and customer oriented railway environment.

The Human Resources Manager is responsible for overseeing training, assessment and record keeping in regard to OHS&W, First Aid and Safe Working across the organisation, including those where specific day to day responsibility is delegated to other managers.

He provides a focus for recruitment, induction and management of volunteers and resolution of performance issues that cannot be resolved by a volunteer's line management.

The Rail Safety Manager is responsible for planning and coordinating all requirements and procedures for the safe operation of the SHR. He is the prime rail safety contact point with the SA Department of Transport and represents SHR on all rail safety audits.

He issues and controls all rail safety documentation. and in conjunction with the HR Manager oversees all internal rail safety training, reporting, investigations and counselling.


In his 2011 Annual Report Manager Andrew McDonough listed a number of issues which illustrate his role

  • New Volunteers

    Our level of new volunteer applications still sits at approximately 4-5 per month. In recent times we have had good success in retaining some great new Operational volunteers. However we are short of volunteers in certain areas of the business that we need to work on. In particular Track, Infrastructure, and Depot.

    In February I became involved with the setting up of a new team of volunteers based in Strathalbyn. It has been many years since a team of SteamRanger personnel have worked from Strathalbyn. The team is coordinated by Rod Radestock and now numbers 11 personnel. Their initial aim was to upgrade the Strathalbyn yard by general maintenance, repainting rollingstock and generally changing the yard into a more Heritage look. To-date they have done an excellent job. Due to the growing team numbers the group have begun the task of restoring to working order a couple of TMC and have formally arranged with Ray Green to look after Trackside maintenance south of Strathalbyn. Many will remember John Heyer who is also with this group and his past experience will be invaluable in helping this team to set up. Several of this group are booked to undertake Safe Working, First Aid and Health Assessments as required so they can drive the TMC.It is not often at all that we can say this number of volunteers having come on board at one time. I thank them for their time and great work to date.

  • Health Assessments

    The Rail Safety requirement to have our Cat 1 & Cat 2 volunteers attend for Health Assessments has continued. As you can imagine this is quite an expense and puts a strain on our already meagre funds. We have had very good assistance from The Jobfit Clinic at Wayville and in particular Dr Tim Drew who was able to offer consults at very reasonable rates. Longstanding member Dr John Wilson continues to provide a very generous offer of performing Cat 2 assessments, with fees going towards restoration of car 43 which he generously donated to SHR. Currently we have approximately 60 members to schedule in for assessments. Special thanks must go to all volunteers who are able to fit into their schedule the visit to Dr Wilson as he can only offer nominated days to complete the assessment.

  • First Aid Requirements

    We have had an increase in the number of volunteers requiring First Aid training due to changes to the Work Place requirements. We now have approximately 50 members with First Aid Training and that number may grow by another 10. This has resulted in an increase in cost for SHR and also our volunteers in funds and time. I would like to thank ALL volunteers who have given up of their time and dollars to complete the First aid course. In addition to First aid Training the new requirement also indicated we had to review and upgrade our supply of First Aid kits. This resulted in a considerable cost to SHR as we were required to replace many First Aid Kits that no longer complied with the new requirements.

  • Training Courses

    Courses continued during the year for some members. Approximately 12 new volunteers attended a Safe Working Course and I would again like to thank Brian Busch for convening these courses. Ian Johnston and Peter Charlson also worked with several volunteers to complete their Transportation Air Brakes and Shunting modules. I would like to extend our appreciation to Ian and Peter along with the volunteers for taking the time and effort to complete this training.


A formal policy on youth volunteers has recently been issued by the HR Manager.
It can be read by clicking HERE and then clicking on the blue box against HR instructions
You will be asked for a volunteers name and password
Any enquiries should be referred to the HR Manager

Key Personnel

Human Resources Manager
Andrew McDonough

Rail Safety Manager
Peter Charlson

Andrew brings skills and enthusiasm gained as a senior commercial manager and has quickly gained the confidence of volunteers as very approachable team leader in the often tricky field of human resource management.

He has a good "coal face" knowledge of SteamRanger operations through being a fully qualified guard, stationmaster and ticket officer

The Manager Safety is responsible for the safe operation of services over the railway including safeworking and rail safety management, training, assessment, incident investigation and reporting to accrediting bodies.

Peter comes to SteamRanger after a long career in the electrical power generation and distribution industry.

He is a qualified locomotive engineman and active contributor to mechanical maintenance activities.

Updated March 2015