Train driver covered in 'human waste' after loo changes
A TRAIN driver had human waste spilled onto his shirt while he was cleaning out one of Aurizon's new portaloos, according to a colleague of his.
The driver, who didn't want us to name him in fear he would lose his job, came forward after we reported that the toilets on trains were being replaced with portaloos.
The driver told us canisters could be used by as many as 12 drivers before needing to be emptied; he said in this case, the overful canister spilled on the man at the Callemondah depot.
"The toilet was overflowing, (he had) no apron, it spilled on his shirt," he said.
"To clean the top half you need to scrub it down or hose it. These (canisters) have to be lifted out of the cubicle, out the door and onto the platform, possibly across three lots of tracks to get to the dump."
The Department of Workplace Health and Safety has also confirmed they have received two calls about the portaloos; one of them turning into a formal complaint.
The portaloos were rolled in Aurizon's coal trains in September and replaced chlorine based toilets that didn't require the drivers to empty.
"They were put in without consultation and the union said its hands were tied. We're now stopping trains, hopping off and walking into the bush for a pee."
Aurizon spokesperson said last month the original toilets were more than 10 years old.
"The old toilets were prone to failure which impacted operational reliability because the locomotive would be out of service until the toilet was fixed," she said.
"Portable facilities on trains have been used elsewhere across Aurizon's national operations safely for more than a decade."