Technical Reports

Proceedings of the Human Factors Workshop: Improving Railroad Safety Through Understanding Close Calls

  • 01
  • May
  • 2004
AUTHOR: Jane Saks,* Jordan Multer, Katherine Blythe*
KEYWORDS: Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), BNSF Incident Reporting System, Close Call, Close
ABSTRACT: On April 23 and 24, 2003, the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Research and Development held a Human Factors Workshop: “Improving Railroad Safety Through Understanding Close Calls in Baltimore, Maryland.” The purpose of the workshop was to educate the railroad industry on the benefits of understanding close call events and the challenges to the implementation and success of a close call reporting system. The workshop provided a forum for participants to discuss issues of concern to the railroad industry. A close call was defined as “an opportunity to improve safety practices in a situation or incident that has a potential for more serious consequences.” These proceedings document the lessons learned from studying close call best practices in the railroad and airline industries. Included are summaries of the workshop presentations on lessons learned from existing close call systems in the airline and railroad industries. The proceedings also include feedback from workshop participants on lessons learned from their own "close call" experiences, benefits and barriers to implementing a close call management system, and Planning Committee recommendations for next steps in implementing a close call system for the railroad industry. Appendices contain supporting documentation.