Publication Guide

The Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) publication guide details who we are, what we do and how members of the public, community organisations, the media and government agencies can interact with us.

It is updated regularly to ensure that it provides an accurate picture of our work.

About us

OTSI was originally established on 1 January 2004 as a separate division within the organisation of the Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator (ITSRR). However, with the passage of the Transport Legislation Amendment (Waterfall Rail Inquiry Recommendations) Bill 2005, OTSI was separated from ITSRR and the office of the Chief Investigator of the Office of Transport Safety Investigations was established as a statutory agency and commenced independent operations on 1 July 2005.

The Transport Administration Act 1988 confers powers on the Chief Investigator to establish the Office of Transport Safety Investigations and conduct investigations into rail, bus and ferry accidents and incidents in accordance with the provisions of the Rail Safety Act 2008 and the Passenger Transport Act 1990.

OTSI was established as an independent office to ensure that both the travelling public and transport service providers could have a high degree of confidence that all safety investigations involving the NSW public transport network are conducted in a fair, impartial and rigorous manner, applying the principles of 'just culture' to all investigations initiated as a result of its response to notifiable incidents and accidents.

Organisational structure

OTSI has a staff of nine investigators which includes the Chief Investigator and the Deputy Chief Investigator, supported by a small administrative team.

OTSI organisational stricture

Note: The Chief Investigator is appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Minister for Transport and is accountable to that Minister.


The Office of Transport Safety Investigations is located on Level 17,201 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

Our services

The Office of Transport Safety Investigations contributes to the safe operation of public transport and rail freight services in New South Wales by initiating and directing investigations into accidents and safety-related incidents whenever and wherever they occur.

OTSI policies and procedures

OTSI is committed to sharing information on how we do business. A list of policies is available at

Resources and tools

Confidential Safety Information Reporting Scheme (CSIRS)

The Confidential Safety Information Reporting Scheme (CSIRS) is a reporting scheme for transport employees. The scheme operates under the provisions of Section 64 of the Rail Safety Act 2008 and Section 46E of the Passenger Transport Act 1990. The guiding principles for CSIRS are that it is a voluntary, confidential and non-punitive scheme for transport employees in the Rail industry and the public passenger transport sectors of the Bus and Ferry industries.

The purpose of CSIRS is to provide a mechanism for transport employees to report safety matters that have been reported within their employer's Safety Management System and which, for whatever reason, have not been dealt with to the satisfaction of the reporting employee. Alternatively, it provides a method for employees to report safety matters that they are not prepared to report to their employer for fear of retribution or vilification.

The Contributing Factors Framework (CFF)

The CFF is a consistent, structured framework which enables rail safety investigators, rail transport operators and regulators to record and analyse the contributing factors identified during the investigation of rail safety occurrences. It allows rail operators and regulators to collect safety data so that they can identify patterns and trends in safety issues and take action to rectify them.

The Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSR) and Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) use the CFF and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau use's a compatible coding framework in investigations they conduct or receive from accredited rail transport operators. Other rail safety regulators throughout Australia also use the CFF.

Stakeholder engagement

As an investigation nears completion, a draft report is circulated to all Directly Involved Parties (DIP) for comment. The purpose of this consultation is to provide these parties with the opportunity to identify matters that they believe warrant additional consideration.


The final reports are forwarded to the Minister for Transport for tabling in both houses of the NSW Parliament. When the reports are tabled ,they are published on the OTSI website at

How to access our information

All information outlined in this publication guide can be downloaded free of charge from our website. Alternatively,you may contact us on (02) 9322 9200. You can also write to OTSI at our current office ,located on Level 17,201 Elizabeth Street,Sydney 2000. Our postal address is - PO Box A2616 Sydney South NSW 1235. OTSI supports the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).