About Bus Safety Reporting
Our Commitment to Safety
Safety has always been a core value of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District (RMRTD), and managing safety is a core business commitment for our agency. RMRTD is committed to developing, implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving our daily practices to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, contractors, and the public. RMRTD will use the safety management processes to guide the prioritization of safety, and allocate our organizational resources (such as people, funding, and technology) to integrate into our everyday operations. We aim to develop and support a robust safety culture, and to achieve the highest levels of safety performance set forth by the FTA.
Developing a Safety Culture at RMRTD Begins with You
We are working to develop a safety culture in our organization, which includes the encouragement for employees to report any close-calls, near-misses, unsafe conditions, and other events that could affect the safety of our drivers, staff, and the riding public.
Safety Program Information
Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP)
The Rio Metro Regional Transit District (RMRTD) bus division has developed a Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP), in accordance with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) final rule 49 CFR Part 673. This rule requires the development of a uniform system of public transit safety management, called the Safety Management System (SMS).
Rio Metro Regional Transit District is committed to the following core capacities:
Executive Commitment to Safety
Executive Management will lead the development of an organizational culture that promotes safe operations. We will provide appropriate resources to support the PTASP development by fostering and ensuring safe practices, improving procedures when needed, and encouraging effective employee safety reporting and communication. RMRTD will keep every executive, manager, employee, and contractor accountable for our priority of safe operations.
Communication & Training
Employee engagement is crucial to a functioning SMS. Communication systems will be developed and fine-tuned to enable greater awareness of RMRTD safety objectives, performance targets, and ongoing safety communication throughout every level of our organization. All levels of management must proactively engage employees, and continuously work to keep the lines of safety communication simple, honest, and open. All employees will be made aware of the importance of RMRTD’s SMS, and will be trained in any new or improved safety reporting procedures.
Responsibility & Accountability
All employees, managers, and contractors will be responsible for delivering safe and quality transit services that represents RMRTD’s performance standards. Each manager will take an active role in the SMS process, and will ensure that the Safety Assurance functions are supported and advocated. Managers are also responsible for ensuring that Safety Risk Management is being performed in their operational areas of control, to assure that the safety risk associated with identified safety hazards is assessed and mitigated. Safety performance will be an important part of annual performance evaluations for all RMRTD employees and managers.
We will institute a safety reporting program as a viable tool for employees to clearly voice their safety concerns. All frontline employees will be responsible for utilizing this program as part of the SMS. No action will be taken against any employee who communicates a safety condition through the RMRTD safety reporting program, unless such disclosure indicates the following: an illegal act, gross misconduct or negligence, or a deliberate or willful disregard of RMRTD rules, policies, and procedures.
Performance Monitoring & Measurement—RMRTD will establish realistic measures of safety performance, and establish safety performance targets to ensure our continuous improvement. A team of our employees, representing different crafts within the organization, will work together with management to verify that the resulting safety risk mitigations are appropriate, helpful, and effective.
Review & Evaluation
RMRTD will measure our SMS performance by analyzing our key safety performance indicators, reviewing inspections, and evaluating our corrective action reports. These activities will become the basis for revising or developing safety objectives, safety performance targets, and overall PTASP with the goal of continuous, effective safety improvements. The ASP is a living document and frequently monitored for applicability and functionality.
Agency Safety Plan and Safety Management System
RMRTD developed the Agency Safety Plan (ASP) in accordance with the guidelines and requirements set forth within the Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 673, or the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) regulation. This plan also serves as a “Safety Management System (SMS) user’s manual” that guides RMRTD in the successful implementation and operation of its SMS.
The FTA defines SMS as:
“The formal, top-down, organization-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of a transit agency’s safety risk mitigation. SMS includes systematic procedures, practices, and policies for managing risks and hazards.”
Furthermore, SMS is a comprehensive, collaborative approach that brings management and labor together to build on the transit industry’s existing safety foundation to better control risks, detect and correct safety problems earlier, share and analyze safety data more effectively, and measure safety performance more carefully.
RMRTD’s SMS has four distinct components, which are discussed in subsequent sections of this safety plan:
- Safety Management Policy
- Safety Risk Management
- Safety Assurance
- Safety Promotion
Confidentiality and Incentives to Report
Your responses will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed in identifiable form to anyone other than Rio Metro Safety employees or Rio Metro agents such as telephone interviewers. Only statistical and non-identifying data will be made publicly available through reports.
The data collected from these reports are used to identify root causes of close calls and develop preventative measures that can prevent safety incidents from happening.
We compile data and look for trends to identify emerging hazards and advocate for transit safety.
What are examples of near misses?
Appendix B: Examples of Unsafe Bus Events That Could Qualify For Confidential, Non-Punitive, Close Call Safety Reporting at Rio Metro.
- Unsafe bus turnaround areas
- Near miss accident or incident with a bus due to blind spots or equipment issues
- Service stop obstructions such as poles, low wires, overhanging trees, branches and other obstacles which create a hazard
- Speeding events, on the street on in the yard
- Failing to blow the horn when required
- Operating on the wrong side of the road
- Not stopping at railroad crossing
- Not using/improper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available
- Improper use of tools/use of incorrect tool to get the job done
- Facilities, housekeeping, infrastructure or equipment issues that may lead to an accident or incident
- Other instances of non-compliance with safety rules, processes or procedures or taking shortcuts to stay on time or get the job done
Why should I report a Near Miss?
Information from your unsafe condition/hazard report makes the work environment safer and healthier for you and your co-workers. From your report, Rio Metro Regional Transit District (RMRTD) can identify and correct factors that contribute to accidents, incidents and/or injuries.
Reporting a near miss/ close call/ safety concern will let us know about trends that are affecting you and others, such as unsafe motorists at a specific location, etc.
From your report RMRTD can: --analyze near misses to identify trends in near misses and new sources of risk as well as preventive safety actions that address these trends and new sources of risk. --disseminate reports on trends in near misses, new sources of risk, and preventative safety actions taken to increase safety for RMRTD operations. --tracks RMRTD’s reports on preventative safety actions to measure RMRTD’s safety program’s impact on safety.
How do I report an Unsafe Condition or Hazard/Near Miss?
You can complete this report and give it your immediate supervisor. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can complete this report and drop it in the suggestion box at your location, call RMRTD’s Safety Hotline at (505) XXX-XXXX or login to MRCOG’s Intranet and in the Safety Section select this form to complete it and submit it and it will be sent to the appropriate personnel for review and investigation.
How does the person filling out the report find out what happened with the report, or whether it has been resolved?
We will post the results on the Rio Metro Safety page on the MRCOG website (under the drop-down menu from the About tab at the top of the page), indicating:
- When the report was received
- Who was assigned to investigate an answer/resolution
- What is being done about it
- A timeline on when it will be addressed
- When it is completed
Can you be disciplined for reporting a Near Miss?
No action will be taken against any employee who communicates a safety condition through the RMRTD safety reporting program unless such disclosure indicates the following: an illegal act, gross misconduct or negligence, or a deliberate or willful disregard of RMRTD rules, policies, and procedures.
Are there times when a reported incident results in discipline?
Yes. Specifically, these situations involve placing someone's life or livelihood in danger, false accusations, etc.
An event that involves any of the following: a loss of life; a report of a serious injury to a person; a collision of public transportation vehicles; a runaway train; an evacuation for life safety reasons; or any derailment of a rail transit vehicle, at any location, at any time, whatever the cause.
A single, identifiable person who has ultimate responsibility for carrying out the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan of a public transportation agency; responsibility for carrying out the agency’s Transit Asset Management Plan; and control or direction over the human and capital resources needed to develop and maintain both the agency’s Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan, in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5329(d), and the agency’s Transit Asset Management Plan in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5326.
An entity that carries out duties similar to that of a Board of Directors, for a recipient or subrecipient of FTA funds under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53, including sufficient authority to review and approve a recipient or subrecipient’s Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan.
An Accident, Incident, or Occurrence.
A real or potential condition that can cause injury, illness, or death; damage to or loss of the facilities, equipment, rolling stock, or infrastructure of a public transportation system; or damage to the environment.
An event that involves any of the following: a personal injury that is not a serious injury; one or more injuries requiring medical transport; or damage to facilities, equipment, rolling stock, or infrastructure that disrupts the operations of a transit agency.
The process of determining the causal and contributing factors of an accident, incident, or hazard, for the purpose of preventing recurrence and mitigating risk.
National Public Transportation Safety Plan
The plan to improve the safety of all public transportation systems that receive Federal financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53.
Is an accident or other safety incident that could have happened but did not. If ignored, near misses can lead to serious consequences. They are an opportunity to improve safety practices. Minor incidents are included in this definition.
An event without any personal injury in which any damage to facilities, equipment, rolling stock, or infrastructure does not disrupt the operations of a transit agency.
Operator of a public transportation system
A provider of public transportation as defined under 49 U.S.C. 5302(14).
An expression based on a quantifiable indicator of performance or condition that is used to establish targets and to assess progress toward meeting the established targets.
A quantifiable level of performance or condition, expressed as a value for the measure, to be achieved within a time period required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan
The documented, comprehensive agency safety plan for a transit agency that is required by 49 U.S.C. 5329 and this part.
The composite of predicted severity and likelihood of the potential effect of a hazard.
A method or methods to eliminate or reduce the effects of hazards.
Processes within a transit agency’s Safety Management System that functions to ensure the implementation and effectiveness of safety risk mitigation, and to ensure that the transit agency meets or exceeds its safety objectives through the collection, analysis, and assessment of information.
Any Accident, Incident, or Occurrence.
Safety Management Policy
A transit agency’s documented commitment to safety, which defines the transit agency’s safety objectives and the accountabilities and responsibilities of its employees in regard to safety.
Safety Management System (SMS)
The formal, top-down, organization-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of a transit agency’s safety risk mitigation. SMS includes systematic procedures, practices, and policies for managing risks and hazards.
Safety Management System (SMS) Executive
A Chief Safety Officer or an equivalent.
Safety Performance Target
Performance Target related to safety management activities.
A combination of training and communication of safety information to support SMS as applied to the transit agency’s public transportation system.
Safety Risk Assessment (SRA)
The formal activity whereby a transit agency determines Safety Risk Management priorities by establishing the significance or value of its safety risks.
Safety Risk Management
A process within a transit agency’s Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan for identifying hazards and analyzing, assessing, and mitigating safety risk.
Any injury which: (1) Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date of the injury was received; (2) Results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or noses); (3) Causes severe hemorrhages, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage; (4) Involves any internal organ; or (5) Involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface.
Small Public Transportation Provider
A recipient or subrecipient of Federal financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. 5307 that has one hundred (100) or fewer vehicles in peak revenue service and does not operate a rail fixed guideway public transportation system.
An operator of a public transportation system.
Transit Asset Management Plan
The strategic and systematic practice of procuring, operating, inspecting, maintaining, rehabilitating, and replacing transit capital assets to manage their performance, risks, and costs over their life cycles, for the purpose of providing safe, cost- effective, and reliable public transportation, as required by 49 U.S.C. 5326 and 49 CFR part 625.
Is an unsatisfactory (unhygienic) physical condition that exists at the workplace especially immediately before an accident which had a crucial role in triggering the incident.