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Safety Reporting System Best Practices 65 memory of it becomes contaminated or begins to degrade. Twenty-four hours with the option of requesting to extend the time limit to 72 hours is a sufficient timeframe for reporting. It is also imperative that the reporting process be as simple and efficient as possible for the reporter. To do so requires a user-friendly electronically available system, which ideally is accessible from home. The system should have the following features at a minimum: · Data fields pre-populated with relevant information, e.g., employee name · Drop-down boxes for commonly used responses · Format that guides the submitter through a series of questions that when answered, automati- cally directs him/her to other related data fields · Ability to upload attachments used as part of the investigation process · Email capability (allows communication to be tracked but kept confidential) · System-generated-acknowledgment of receipt of report Report Review Team Ideally, the report review team should be a three-person group composed of individuals that rep- resent labor, management, and the regulatory agency. Since there is no federal regulator for transit, as there is for aviation and railroads, the third member of this team might be a representative from the state safety oversight agency, FTA, or an impartial arbitrator. The presence of a third person on the review team prevents deadlock from occurring during the report deliberation process. The pur- pose of this group is to review the report and supporting documentation to determine if there are any corrective actions or recommendations to be made regarding the reporter as well as the public transit agency. Remedial training is an example of a recommended action for an employee; whereas, adopting a new safety-related rule is something a transit agency might be asked to do. To accomplish their tasks, the report review team needs specific types of training, which include consensus-building, conflict management, team-building, and root cause analysis (RCA). There are specific attributes that help qualify someone for a position on a report review committee. These include the following: · Expert knowledge about the work processes the reports will involve · Knowledge of safety principles · Effective communication skills · Ability to compromise It is important to document the review team's processes and procedures in a manual; it should include important contact information and procedures for handling difficult situations. Additionally, the team should set aside one meeting annually to review program guidelines, the review process, and member roles and responsibilities. New members should be required to shadow veteran members and observe other review teams before full group membership. In addition to the members of the report review team, the transit agency should assign program management responsibility to a liaison. As a nonvoting member of the report review team, the program liaison is an objective staff member that oversees the information capture process and facilitates the activities of the team. In addition, this person is the point of contact for the transit agency management as well as labor with regard to the safety reporting system. This person would most likely be on the staff of the transit agency's safety department. For additional information regarding report review teams, the American Institutes of Research (2009) reviewed the best practices of "event review committees" in the context of the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). This document is a valuable resource for implementing a report review team.