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Analysis of the Relationship between Operator Effectiveness Measures and Economic Impacts of Rail Accidents

  • 01
  • May
  • 2011
AUTHOR: Steven R. Hursh,1 Joseph F. Fanzone,1 and Thomas G. Raslear2
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-11/13
SUBJECT: Human Factors, Work Schedule & Sleep Patterns
KEYWORDS: fatigue, railroad accidents, railroad accident cost, economics, fatigue modeling, effectiveness, relative risk, SAFTE, FAST
ABSTRACT: Data from 350 human factors (HFs)-related accident and 958 non-HFs-related U.S. rail accidents from January 1, 2003, through May 31, 2003, were analyzed for relationship between accident cost and crew performance effectiveness scores as estimated by the Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness (SAFTE) biomathematical fatigue model. Property damage data was augmented by casualty cost using a combination of fatality costs and injury costs based on relationship between lost workdays and the Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale. Preliminary analysis prompted grouping of accidents into groups based on crew effectiveness scores. Relative accident risk and relative economic risk were computed for each bin. Estimated relative economic risk (damage and casualty cost) of an HF was more than quadrupled for crew effectiveness scores at or below 70, increased by a factor of 5 when scores were at or below 77 and reduced by a factor of 4 when scores were above 90. Estimated relative accident risk of an HF increased by 62 percent when effectiveness was at or below 70 and reduced by approximately 30 percent when effectiveness was above 90. Average total cost of accidents decreased exponentially as effectiveness increased from below 70 to above 90; average total cost when effectiveness was at or below 70 was more than triple the overall average cost and quadruple the average cost when effectiveness was greater than 90. Results further validate the SAFTE for estimating work related fatigue risk.
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