Technical Reports

A Pilot Examination of a Joint Railroad Management-Labor Approach to Root Cause Analysis of Accidents, Incidents, and Close Calls in a Diesel and Car Repair Shop Environment

  • 01
  • Nov
  • 2006
AUTHOR: Alex Viale and Stephen Reinach
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-06/24
KEYWORDS: Root cause analysis, accident/incident investigation, human error, diesel shop, car repair shop,
ABSTRACT: This report presents findings from a 1-year pilot study investigating the feasibility and practicality of a joint railroad managementlabor approach to root cause analysis (RCA) of accidents, incidents, and close calls in a diesel and car repair shop environment. The primary objective of the study was to evaluate the value and utility of a joint railroad management-labor RCA process. Participating labor and management representatives identified seven RCA opportunities during the study period; however, only one was investigated. Participants identified a number of barriers that made it difficult for the project to succeed in its current form. Key barriers included a lack of study leadership; poor interaction and communication between labor and management participants and between participants and the employees involved in the accidents, incidents, and close calls; challenges with employee participation; perceived minimal opportunity to conduct RCA; and complexity of the RCA tools and process. Suggestions for future implementation addressed these barriers. The report discusses additional lessons learned and recommendations for any future implementation of a joint labor-management RCA process. The joint management-labor RCA process and tools should experience greater success once these barriers are addressed.
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