After a brief hiatus, the Confidential Close Call Reporting System known as C3RS has returned the Belt Railway Company of Chicago (BRC). The ATDA along with ten other rail labor organization have signed an agreement with BRC and the FRA to make this highly successful program available to their members at the Belt.
A collaboration between the FRA and NASA (yes that NASA), C3RS is confidential reporting system available to represented employees on properties where both their employer and union are participants in the program. C3RS allows represented employees to report safety issues or “close calls” through a confidential program administered by NASA that reviews reports submitted by employees, removes any identifying information such as names, times, and locations, and then provides the report to a peer review team for analysis. By virtue of submitting a C3RS report, represented employees are granted immunity from discipline including decertification. The goal of the program is to identify root causes of safety issues with an eye towards preventing or mitigating accidents and incidents in the future. Take a look at FRA’s C3RS newsletter “Inside the Rail” Issue 22 that relates to Train Dispatchers. If you’d like to subscribe to their newsletter, you can select here.
Vice President Brandon Denucci who serves as ATDA’s representative on the FRA’s Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) and its subcommittee which deals specifically with C3RS, oversaw the BRC at the time of negotiations. “C3RS has proven to be a highly successful program in improving, not only safety,” said Denucci, “but culture as well. Rather than assigning blame and issuing punitive discipline, we see a shift towards education, instruction, and the implementation of changes that create a safer work environment for everyone.” Denucci also noted that, “In the wake of the East Palestine, Ohio derailment, all Class I CEOs committed to joining C3RS at the urging of the Secretary of Transportation. However, nearly a year later, not a single Class I has joined C3RS, insisting that, despite its nearly 14-year history of being a proven safety program, it must be modified to work on their respective properties. Hopefully, given the fact that each of the Class Is have an ownership stake in the BRC, their attitudes towards C3RS will soon change.”