Train Crash: Criminal or Culture?
|Tank car remains after the horrific crash and fire at Lac-Megnatic|
The head of the U.S. railway company whose oil train crashed into the Quebec town has blamed the engineer for failing to set the brakes properly. A fire on the train just hours before the crash is also being investigated. Oh it’s the engineer’s fault. That’s the result of the Root Cause Analysis..really. No, obviously this company has a systematic problem. It could be culture, organizational, practices....etc.
"Under Transport Canada’s Railway SMS Regulations, in force since 2001, all federally regulated railway companies must implement and maintain an SMS. While railways may create an SMS that best suits their organization, needs and operations, it must include documented systems and procedures, which give both Transport Canada and the railways a consistent basis for monitoring safety performance. Railways must also report to Transport Canada on their safety performance, safety goals, and new safety efforts - every year." Transport Canada.ca SMS for Rail.
SMS requires companies to have Standard Operating Procedures in all aspects of their operations. Most companies have procedures but, most do not follow them. It is important to realize the merely having procedures is not enough. Performing routine operation often evolve into "short cut" without an SOP to compare to. This practice is the beginning of a culture problem.
|CEO of Rail World Inc. Edward Burkhardt|
Burkhardt paid his first visit to Lac-Megantic, four days after an unmanned, 72-car oil train rolled from an overnight parking spot into the town, where it jumped the tracks, incinerated about 30 buildings and killed at least 20 people. Burkhardt laid the blame for the crash on his own engineer for failing to properly apply hand brakes on the rail cars when they were parked in nearby Nantes. He said his company's inspection indicated the brakes were applied on the locomotives, but not on the rail cars. Burkhardt told reporters today that the train's engineer told the company he had applied 11 hand brakes. Procedures require that all handbrakes be applied.
|Fire plumb from the burning tank cars.|
"We think he applied some hand brakes, the question is, did he apply enough of them?" Burkhardt said. "He's told us that he applied 11 hand brakes and our general feeling now is that that is not true. Initially we took him at his word."