What is a National or Network block?

A National or Network block is a restriction that prevents a Rail Industry Worker (RIW) from working on a Network Operator’s rail network or multiple rail networks. 

This can be at two levels in the system:

  • At a National level, which impacts all work sites on all participating rail networks, or
  • At a Network level, which includes all work sites on a specific Network only. 

Blocks can only be placed by a Network Operator or by the National Rail Industry Worker Governance Committee (NRIWGC) via the RIW Service Desk.

National Block

When a block is placed on an individual at the RIW Program level, this will exclude them from working on all Network Operator rail networks. Examples of why a National block might be placed include fraud or where a serious safety incident occurs and the Network Operator believes it should be escalated to the NRIWGC for consideration. These types of incidents would be categorised under the Rail Safety National Law as a Category A – Notifiable Occurrence.

Network Block

Network Operators reserve the right to remove and block any cardholder from their Network as a result of any type of breach, incident or accident, in accordance with their rules and procedures. This could impact a cardholders ability to work in other Network Operator jurisdictions, depending on the severity of the breach, and/or the number of times a cardholder has been found to have been in breach.

Where a cardholder has been identified as contributory to an incident, this may result in a suspension or block of the cardholder from carrying out rail safety work.

When a block is placed by the Network Operator, the block only prevents the cardholder from working on the Network where the block was placed. Other Networks are responsible for assessing the risks of working with blocked cardholders, and may refuse the blocked cardholder entry to their Network/site until they can determine why the cardholder was previously blocked at the different network location.

A Network Block may be placed on a cardholders profile in the following situations:

  • Failure to comply with the Network Operator’s Drug and Alcohol Management Program; or 
  • Serious/Critical Safety Breach; or
  • Other valid reason as determined by the Network Operator.

These types of incidents are categorised under the Rail Safety National Law as a Category A – Notifiable Occurrence. For more information about notifiable occurrences, please visit the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator website.


While the system automatically places a National block on a cardholder for a failed D&A result, or a site block on a cardholder for a failed Breathalyser reading, these are both system generated blocks which are different than the National or Network blocks listed above.

RIW Knowledge Centre Article Link:


Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.