Clear signal for action program addresses locomotive cab safety related to constraining signals
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Clear signal for action program addresses locomotive cab safety related to constraining signals

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    Union Pacific Railroad (UP), the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), and the United Transportation Union (UTU) are collaborating with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Human Factors Research and Development (R&D) Program to conduct a Clear Signal for Action (CSA) demonstration project. CSA is a proactive safety risk management method that combines behavior-based safety (BBS) and continuous improvement (CI). This project, involving road crews from UP’s San Antonio Service Unit (SASU), is underway to determine whether CSA can improve safety in the railroad industry as it has in other industries. In this project, workers from road crews provide each other with confidential, nonconfrontational feedback to reduce the probability of derailments and other accidents when they are operating under constraining signals. In addition, data compiled by peers is used to identify and implement corrective actions to lower the risk of future derailments and accidents. Training in how to effectively support the process is also provided for managers. In addition to sponsoring CSA implementation, FRA is sponsoring a lessons learned team (LLT) to examine what it takes to implement CSA successfully, the impact CSA has on safety, and what factors are needed to sustain CSA in the long term. One early LLT activity was to meet with project stakeholders to develop a logic model that describes how the CSA method works, what results are expected from it, and how it can be measured. Data collected so far indicate that CSA implementation in the SASU is viable. A joint BLET/UTU steering committee developed and validated a checklist of 35 safety practices to be tracked. More than 180 employees have received training in conducting peer-to-peer observation-feedback sessions, and over 700 observation-feedback sessions have taken place. Key managers have also received training in how to effectively support the CSA process. During interviews and project meetings, many SASU employees indicated that improvements have occurred since the CSA process was implemented. As the project continues, additional data will be collected to determine whether the changes shown in the other boxes in the logic model occur as anticipated.
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