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CHAPTER 4 Best Practices You Can Use This chapter provides specific practices that a transit agency can use to improve safety-related rules compliance. The practices are grouped into six categories: screening and selecting employees, training/testing, communication, monitoring rules compliance, responding to noncompliance, and safety management. Table 10 lists the specific practices in each category. Some of the practices listed in this table are further divided. For example, observational methods for monitoring rules compliance consists of ride-along, mystery rider, observation external to the vehicle, speed monitoring, video data recording, and safety audit. Where appropriate, sample documents illustrate the implementation of the practice. Callout boxes contain examples of how selected practices have been implemented by a transit agency. The suggested effectiveness metric(s) for each best practice follows its description as a bulleted item in a box. A table summarizing the relevant metrics appears in Appendix E. As suggested in the Measuring Compliance with Leading and Lagging Indicators section of Chapter 2, the majority of these metrics are leading indicators. Screening and Selecting Employees DOT regulations require that transit agencies screen for drug- and alcohol-related offenses. In addition, many transit agencies examine a job candidate's record of moving violations, as well as any history of criminal activity. Within the airline industry, research has demonstrated that previous drug and alcohol offenses (e.g., driving under the influence) were predictive of risky flight maneuvers. While the research has not been extended to apply to the public transportation industry, it is likely an effective practice. % of candidates screened Training and Testing The following highlight best practices for training and testing knowledge of safety-related rules. The reader is encouraged to review the following in the context of the training section of Chapter 2. % of training programs that measure training effectiveness Is there a post test for all rules training? (Rating scale that evaluates effectiveness on multiple dimensions) Note: The above metrics apply to all the training and testing best practices. 39
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40 Improving Safety-Related Rules Compliance in the Public Transportation Industry Table 10. Best practices by category. Category Practices Screening and Selecting Employees Screening and Selecting Employees Training/Testing Effective Training Preparation Information Transfer Methods Action-Based Rules Training Assessing Effectiveness of Rules Training Crew Resource Management Communication Proactive Rules Communication Opportunities to Ask Questions Communicating Changes to Rules Positive Safety Language Customer Feedback Monitoring Rules Compliance Operational Testing Observational Methods Automated Methods Responding to Noncompliance See Chapter 3 for investigating and responding to noncompliance Rule Evaluation Task Analysis Improving Training Improving Workspace, Tools and Equipment Improving Safety Culture Behavioral Coaching Discipline Safety Management Assessing the Rules Compliance Program Encouraging Employee Involvement Reporting Near-Misses and Other Safety Risks Incentivizing Rules Compliance Effective Training Preparation For training to be effective, trainers must prepare their trainees for the learning experience. A public transit agency's training curriculum can accomplish this by informing employees about upcoming training opportunities and requirements. The training department may send tradi- tional mail or email announcing any upcoming training. Agencies may also use posters and fly- ers to announce training opportunities. The information about training should include why the transit agency is sponsoring it, the training goals and objectives, and any potential benefits to the employee and the agency. Yes/No: Include staff in design and development of training program Train the trainer Prepare trainees for rules training by explaining expectations Information Transfer Methods Information transfer methods typically occur in a classroom setting. However, it is important that the information imparted in this setting has the opportunity to be demonstrated in an action-based learning paradigm (see next subsection). The most effective training will encom- pass a broad cross section of training methods.
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Best Practices You Can Use 41 Pre/post tests that evaluate understanding the purpose of rules % of rules with explanations Instructor-led training. This is the most typical form of classroom training. The instructor will preside over a class explaining the content via lecture, hand- Virginia Regional Transit Authority outs, static visual presentation (e.g., slides), and other audio-visual teaching aids. (VRTA) has a multi-method training Instructor-led training is most effective when the leader provides students with system for relating safety-related real-world exemplary material that demonstrates the following: rules. Employees are notified of · Necessity for a rule safety rules beginning the first day · Proper execution of the rule in the operational environment of employment. Throughout the · Potential outcomes if the rule is not followed year, VRTA provides monthly and · Skill does not protect an employee from the safety risks associated with rule approximately 40 hours of safety- noncompliance and security-related training to · Actual examples of incidents or accidents stemming from rule non- employees via Saturday training compliance meetings. This includes an inten- sive 8-hour boot camp typically Instructor-led training should also provide the employee with the oppor- held in early Spring. All employee tunity to ask questions in a non-evaluative manner, that is, instructors should meetings include video training encourage their students to ask questions without placing value on the qual- that may cover specific incidents. ity of questions. The Accident Review Committee complements VRTA's training Video presentation. Videos are an effective way to bring a lecture and program by conducting monthly static course materials to life. Instructors can use video to present the positive incident and accident briefings image of employees following the rules thereby modeling the expected behav- with employees as needed. ior and proper execution. Alternatively, video may also be used to present the negative consequences of employees who failed to comply with rules. The latter may include video of actual accident scenes and/or scenario-based re-enactment. Mountain Line Transit Authority Computer-based training (CBT). Many organizations are migrating uses an effective video program toward this type of training either by supplementing classroom training from the trucking industry to or replacing it altogether. The disadvantage to replacing classroom training inform its drivers of safety-critical altogether with CBT is that employees lose the ability to ask questions and they scenarios. The video shows scenarios may not learn from comments from their peers. As a supplementary form of from the perspective of someone training, CBT has advantages. It is less costly than traditional classroom train- behind the wheel of a transit ing; therefore, transit agencies can conduct CBT throughout the year to rein- vehicle. The program is reportedly force less frequent classroom training. CBT offers employees the flexibility successful for initial driver training to complete the training at their own convenience outside of work hours. as well as for periodic refresher Refresher training. Transit agencies as well as organizations in other safety- training. critical industries provide periodic training throughout the year to reinforce initial rules training. Refresher training may be classroom-based, via CBT or through action-based training described in the next subsection. Action-Based Rules Training Action-based or experiential training focuses on educating the employee about how to execute the rule in an operational setting. This can occur when the employee is on-the-job or in a simulated scenario. Action-based training is most effective when combined with information transfer methods.
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42 Improving Safety-Related Rules Compliance in the Public Transportation Industry Pre/Post tests that evaluate understanding how a rule is applied % of rules with examples % of rules with practice opportunities Annual opportunities for refresher training % of scheduled refresher training completed % of action-based training that incorporates positive feedback during training Course evaluation containing questions about frequency and quality of feedback during training Simulator training. Other industries, particularly aviation, make simulation a central com- ponent of rules and competency training. Many bus and rail operators make use of simulator training. While the disadvantage of simulator training is the cost of high-fidelity simulators, smaller operators should consider lower cost alternatives. Low-fidelity simulators may not pro- vide the vehicle operator with the tactile and motion feedback that more expensive simulators provide; however, they still provide the opportunity to place the vehicle operator in situations they may not frequently encounter in passenger operations. This better prepares the operator for un- expected situations that may arise, which may call for the execution of less frequently used rules. Simulator training also provides a means to train an operator to respond to high-risk scenarios without putting the individual at risk of experiencing negative consequences. On-the-job training (OJT). All transit agencies use OJT as a form of training. Effective OJT guidelines are discussed in the training section of Understanding Rules Noncompliance. Practice in nonpassenger operation. Transit agencies, particularly bus operators, provide their employees with the opportunity to learn to operate transit vehicles without passengers on board. This is particularly useful for novice employees as they are not distracted by persons on board. Defensive driving course. Many bus transit agencies, as well as other commercial driving organizations, require their employees to complete a defensive driving course. This type of instruction teaches employees to be proactive on the roadways considering ways to prevent acci- dents due to the poor driving choices of other drivers on the road. To maximize the effectiveness of defensive driving, the skills learned should be periodically reviewed with the employee. Crew Resource Management Background. Crew Resource Management (CRM) has been an extremely successful training program in the aviation industry. Although this training program was initially directed toward air- line crews, it has been expanded over the years to include such employees as dispatchers and main- tenance personnel. In addition, it is a program that can include employees who work alone but have a direct working relationship with other related employees, such as transit vehicle operators and dispatchers. Further, CRM training addresses many of the topics covered in this report includ- ing perceptual errors, distraction, fatigue, workload, risk taking, and safety culture. History. CRM was established within the airline industry in the early 1980s, in response to a series of aviation accidents caused solely by human factors and not mechanical failures. It has been so successful that this training is now mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration for all passenger airlines, and will soon be expanded to include all cargo operations as well. Purpose. The CRM training program recognizes that human error will occur, and develops techniques and strategies to deal with such errors. It promotes a working environment that encourages all employees to speak up and assert their views, thus preventing small errors from being magnified and ultimately affecting the safety of flight. It is sometimes defined as "the man- agement of errors."