Technical Reports

Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) Lessons Learned Team Baseline Phase Report

  • 08
  • May
  • 2015
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Freight Operations, Human Factors
KEYWORDS: Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) Lessons Learned Team Baseline Phase Report; C3RS; Close calls; continuous improvement; employee involvement; freight rail; human factors
ABSTRACT: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has established a program called the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), which allows events to be reported anonymously and dealt with non-punitively and without fear or reprisal through structured collaboration between representatives of railroad management, labor unions, and FRA who work together in Peer Review Teams (PRTs). Close calls or near misses are occurrences that could have led to or resulted in an accident or casualty, but did not. Close call programs have been shown to contribute to improved safety in other industries, but their effectiveness in the railroad industry has not yet been systematically evaluated. To address this question, FRA implemented a rigorous evaluation that is taking place over the entire course of the C3RS life cycle. The C3RS evaluation is designed to answer three major questions: (1) What conditions are necessary to implement C3RS successfully? (2) What is the impact of C3RS on safety and safety culture? (3) What factors help to sustain C3RS over time? Data are being collected for three time periods: from the beginning of C3RS through an implementation period (baseline), at about the middle of the test period (midterm), and at the end of the test period (final). This report provides baseline findings from the evaluation at four demonstration sites.