About C3RS

  1. What is the C3RS?
  2. What is the MOU?
  3. How will Tenant/Host Operations work for carriers that have approved IMOUs covering them?
  4. How does C3RS work?
  5. Who can take part in C3RS?
  6. How many carriers are using C3RS?
  7. How do carriers, labor organizations, and FRA use C3RS data?
  8. Can new carriers join C3RS?
  9. What are the benefits of C3RS?
  10. What close call events are outside the scope of C3RS?
  11. Can an injury be reported using C3RS?
  12. Can a C3RS report be used instead of safety processes such as the Hazardous Condition Report to report conditions requiring immediate response?
  13. Why should I report a close call?
  14. Does C3RS modify carrier investigation procedures and Drug/Alcohol testing policies?
  15. How do multiple carriers collaborate on shared tenant/host operations?

  1. What is the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS)?
    C3RS is an FRA-funded program to improve safety practices. It is based on learning about potentially unsafe conditions, or close call events, that pose the risk of more serious consequences. The C3RS program is designed to help adapt a confidential reporting system to the needs of the U.S. railroad industry and to evaluate its effectiveness in improving safety. In addition to FRA, stakeholders  include labor organizations, railroad carriers, and NASA.
  2. What is the Model Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?
    The MOU is a template developed by the Close Call Steering Committee that describes the core principles and values necessary to successfully implement a confidential reporting system. It also describes the C3RS program and explains the rights, roles, and responsibilities of project stakeholders. Each demonstration site develops its own Implementing Memorandum of Understanding (IMOU) that is customized to address local concerns and coverage.
  3. How will Tenant/Host Operations work for carriers that have approved IMOUs covering them?
    C3RS reports are accepted from employees when they are operating within the boundaries of an IMOU, or when operating on another railroad that has an approved C3RS IMOU in effect. With respect to tenant/host C3RS operations, the host railroad's IMOU will govern tenant operations.
  4. How does C3RS work?
    The confidential reporting system:
    • Provides an environment in which railroad employees can voluntarily and confidentially report close calls without fear of discipline or punishment.
    • Accepts close call reports.
    • Stores confidential data.
    • Analyzes close calls to identify trends, new sources of risk, and corrective actions to address them.
    • Distributes reports on trends and other information for use by participating parties.
    • Tracks carriers' corrective action reports to measure the system's impact on safety.
    • Identifies ways to improve the C3RS system's effectiveness.
  5. Who can take part in C3RS?
    Employees who are included in written IMOUs can participate in C3RS. Only eligible employees from carriers participating in the demonstration project will receive protection from discipline. Eligible employees and the conditions under which they receive protection are described in the IMOU for each demonstration site. Anyone submitting a report to NASA will receive confidential treatment.
  6. How many carriers are using C3RS?
    Currently eight: Amtrak, Long Island Railroad, MBTA/Keolis, Metra, Metro-North, New Jersey Transit, SEPTA, and Strasburg Rail Road.
  7. How do carriers, labor organizations, and FRA use C3RS data?
    Data are used to improve safety through:
    • Learning why reported unsafe events occurred
    • Assessing risks and allocating resources to address them
    • Taking corrective action to address factors contributing to unsafe events
    • Sharing lessons learned within and among sites about why unsafe events occurred and how corrective action was taken to address them
  8. Can new carriers join C3RS?
  9. What are the benefits of C3RS?
    C3RS provides the following benefits:
    • The chance to learn what happened in close call incidents industrywide and to use the information to prevent similar or more serious incidents from recurring
    • Improved trust and partnerships among FRA, railroads, and labor unions
    • Increased efficiency, cost savings, and return on investment from reduced claims and litigation as well as from corrective actions that target systematic solutions shown through the analysis of close calls
    • More time to focus on getting into the field and running a safe operation because of fewer investigations
    • Safer communities nationwide
  10. What close call events are outside the scope of C3RS?
    Events are not accepted if they:
    • Occur outside boundaries indicated in the IMOU
    • Result in intentional damage to operations or equipment or injure other individuals
    • Involve the deliberate endangerment of others
    • Involve criminal offenses or falsified information
    • Involve substance abuse or inappropriate use of controlled substances
    • Involve reportable accidents/incidents (49 CFR and 225.1), unless listed by a carrier through an exception in the IMOU.
    • Involve hazmat release
    • Are real-time observations reported to carrier management or are a part of operations testing
  11. Can an injury be reported using C3RS?
    All injuries are excluded from C3RS protections but may be reported to NASA.
  12. Can a C3RS report be used instead of safety processes such as the Hazardous Condition Report to report conditions requiring immediate response?
    No, C3RS reporting does not change existing safety processes.
  13. Why should I report a close call?
    Information from your close call report will make the work environment safer and healthier for you and your coworkers. The information that you provide will enable your railroad to identify factors that contribute to accidents or injuries and to correct these problems before they result in harm. It will also contribute to improved productivity through reductions in time lost from injuries, decreased damage to railroad property and the environment, and less time required to move customers' goods. Find out how to report a close call.
  14. Does C3RS modify carrier investigation procedures and Drug/Alcohol testing policies?
    No.
  15. How do multiple carriers collaborate on shared tenant/host operations?
    Peer Review Teams (PRTs) involved with tenant/host operations agree to meet as often as needed and work collaboratively on cases that require corrective action measures by the host railroad. Both PRTs agree to function in the spirit of open dialogue, freely exchanging close call data in the interest of improving railroad safety on their respective railroads.
    • NASA will send the report to the employee's home railroad.
    • Some reports will require collaboration between the tenant railroad's PRT and the host railroad's PRT.
    • Confidentiality must be maintained.

 


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