A train safety video has been derailed after concerns were raised that it featured "ironic" and "unfortunate" health and safety breaches.

The video, made for New Zealand Railway Safety Week 2015 that ends on Sunday, was aimed at "reducing incidents and preventing harm".

The time-lapsed clip showed three high-vis contractors constructing a one-dimensional, KiwiRail locomotive-sized billboard with the message, 'Always expect trains'.

The giant billboard, designed to prompt drivers to slow down and check for trains, is being placed at various high-risk level crossings around the country.


However, the minute-long video shared on social media channels including YouTube has been slammed by an occupational health and safety expert.

The expert was shocked to see helmet-less workers failing basic safe working from heights practice.

At one point, workers are seen balancing precariously between different levels on step-ladders.

"You'd think that health and safety would have been at the forefront of their minds while shooting a promotional safety video," said the expert who did not wish to be named.

He described the blunders as "ironic" and "unfortunate".

"It just sends all the wrong messages and flies in the face of what they were obviously intending."

Rail Safety Week is coordinated by KiwiRail is partnership with TrackSAFE NZ, NZTA, police, Auckland Transport, Transdev Auckland, Greater Wellington Council and Tranz Metro.

Today, a spokesman for NZTA confirmed the video has now been removed from websites "while the issues ... can be investigated".


The creation and installation of the billboard at the Wiltons Rd site in Carterton - the first high-risk level crossing it will be featured at - was carried out by an advertising agency on NZTA's behalf.

The agency used a sub-contractor for the installation. Trained and experienced workers were safety briefed on-site from KiwiRail.

A safety/risk assessment plan was also discussed on-site before commencing the installation, NZTA confirmed today.

"Standard practices in ladder use were used," the NZTA spokesman said.

"However, the video does appear to show a momentary lapse in concentration from staff members when they stepped between the small and large ladder.

"The staff involved have been reminded of the importance of following standard safety procedures.

"We aim for zero harm for all of our people and contractors, so we will be seeking assurance from our advertising agency that any installation projects with this or other billboards in the future are fully compliant with health and safety standards."