Lynne Boag

"After having no real interest in trams, I now find them fascinating."
Woman in suit standing in font of tram
Woman in suit standing in font of tram

Rail Safety Officer

Background: Occupational Health and Safety Officer

"I was looking after worker’s compensation at an insurance company when I realised I wanted to prevent injury rather than deal with its consequences.

I took on occupational health and safety (OH&S) roles in the manufacturing industry and on grape farms in remote properties. I then spent a year travelling before starting a job with Yarra Trams in 2014.

At that stage, I had no particular interest in trams. But I soon became an energetic champion of safety for both the workers and passengers on the tram network.

A few years ago, I had one of the biggest thrills of my professional life. I got to drive an E-Class Tram. After having no real interest in trams, I now find them fascinating.

I drove safely, of course. 

To perform my role in OH&S, I must be across all relevant legislation. I advise on changes in laws and regulations, and help to ensure that safety systems meet these standards. I also ensure that safety systems are suitable for the workforce and the workplace.

I’ve established a health and well-being program that focuses on three key areas of health for workers — physical activity, healthy mind, and a healthy body. I provide advice on drug and alcohol awareness, and support systems for workers to take better care of themselves.

I’ve also worked on achieving the safety benchmarks of the International standard Organisation for Environment Management.

Originally, the Yarra Trams safety team had 15 members. Now, it has almost 50!

I became aware of safety concerns very early, growing up on a dairy farm in South Gippsland. Common workplace safety standards now encourage and allow workers to stop and get support if they feel unsafe. But on a farm whatever you’re doing must be finished because there’s no-one else to get it done.

I was in my mid-teens when I was driving a tractor down a hill with a bale of hay on the back. The hill was steep and isolated. The brakes locked up and the tractor began sliding sideways. I had the presence of mind to release the bale. The tractor straightened up and I managed to guide it to the bottom of the hill.

Almost a decade later when I started in my first OH&S role to improve safety for workers, I knew I’d found my passion."


Find out more about how to become a Rail Safety Officer by checking out our training pathways pages.