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Safety Reporting System Best Practices 63 were handled by a third-party agent who was responsible for de-identifying the reports and in some instances coding the incident factors. Pilot Implementation Prior to full-scale implementation, piloting the system is recommended. The merits of instituting a pilot system are as follows: · Allows the safety reporting system to be tested at a few choice sites or departments to identify program strengths and weaknesses · Gives the implementation team an opportunity to monitor program effectiveness and make any necessary adjustments before full-scale implementation · Lowers the overall cost of the system because the system design is optimized before its adoption The research team learned that one of the most important practices for implementing a pilot system is that it must have high visibility. Ways to market a pilot safety reporting system include posters, news conference at trade shows, and trade publications. One program used direct mail with a program kit to encourage reporting. Most safety reporting programs held town hall-like meetings with representatives from labor and management whereby employees could raise concerns and have their questions answered. One program used focus groups conducted with employees to evaluate the reporting form and reporting system features. These methods are highly recommended before rolling out a pilot safety reporting system. Training for the program stakeholders should include the following: · Provide consistent information across all stakeholders. · Educate how program addresses transit agency's safety goals and culture. · Educate how safety reporting removes threats to safety. · Clearly define and explain reporting incentives. · Make sure stakeholders fully understand the safety reporting process. · Provide training on the principles of trust and how to develop it. · Develop teamwork skills for report review teams. · Explain how to use the taxonomy to classify events and the related causal and contributing factors including root cause analysis. · Stress importance of responding to recommendations of report review teams. · Provide periodic refresher training. · Integrate with new hire training. Memorandum of Understanding For existing organization-based safety reporting systems (i.e., not a centralized repository of incident reports such as ASRS), an agreement between the organization's management (e.g., airline or railroad), the labor union, and the regulatory agency had to be negotiated. Originating from the airline industry model of safety reporting systems, this agreement is referred to as an MOU. The basic (core) information included in an MOU is as follows: · Describes how the information obtained from the reports will be analyzed · Authorizes nonpunitive response to noncompliance including skill enhancement or system corrective action to help solve safety issues; reports accepted under the program will result in lesser action or no action, depending on whether it is a sole-source report