MTA Metro-North Railroad, various labor unions and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding describing the core principles and values for implementing an anonymous close call reporting system.
A partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the FRA, the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) is designed to encourage workers to report any potential safety hazards or breaches of procedures they see, MTA officials said in a press release.
Through the system, NASA receives the details of an incident through an online form. The agency then removes identifying information before sharing news of the safety preach with a peer review team comprising FRA representatives, Metro-North and labor unions.
“This program confirms how much we depend on our employees to detect potential risks to our operations,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “They are the eyes and ears of Metro-North and we appreciate their contribution to making the system run safely and efficiently.”
Other railroads currently using C3RS include MTA Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, Amtrak and Strasburg Rail Road. Reporting results from each railroad provide the chance to see industrywide trends in close call incidents and use the information to prevent similar or more serious incidents from occurring, MTA officials said.
In April 2015, Metra’s management signed a similar memorandum of understanding committing to implementing the new system.
Metro-North is the first commuter railroad to implement the system with all operations workers throughout its entire network, MTA officials said.