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28 FIGURE 22 Location of case examples. preventable accidents, or corrective/disciplinary actions dur- Organizational Approach to Safety ing the quarter. Within each division, problem-solving teams comprised of front-line hourly employees, salaried super- FAST's priority is safety. Since 2008, it has had a dedicated visors, and management staff members develop strategies to safety and training coordinator who is involved in all areas improve divisional performance. of the organization's safety program. Its mission statement includes specific language addressing the organization's cul- ture towards safety and security, and this mission statement Summary serves as the organization's backbone. Front-line employee communication and engagement has been Although FAST has a recently developed new-hire train- identified as critical elements of the DART quality improve- ing program that directly addresses safety in all elements of ment effort, including efforts directed to improve bus safety. training, the monthly safety training meetings are central to As detailed previously, DART has implemented a series of the organization's commitment to safety. interrelated programs and initiatives that target these elements. Each month, the safety and training coordinator and the As a result of these initiatives, DART reports a reduction superintendent of operations hold mandatory safety training in vehicle collisions of nearly 10%, an almost 16% reduction meetings. These meetings, attended by all of FAST's opera- in passenger accidents, and a significant improvement in pas- tors, offer employees the opportunity to learn more about the senger perception of safety. organization's safety status and policies, and to receive train- ing. The agency offers the meetings three times on the desig- nated day to allow employees to plan attendance around their Fayetteville Area System work schedules. By allowing operators multiple meeting of Transit, Fayetteville, times, the agency helps its employees avoid safety-related North Carolina fatigue issues. Agency Description Issues discussed in the monthly safety meetings include FAST operates in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and provides elevated safety concerns, a review of near misses, possible services within the Fayetteville city limits. The system is bus route redesigns, customer complaint reviews, compli- characterized as urban with one million annual riders and pro- ance items, and review of any new policies. The agency has vides both fixed-route and ADA-complimentary paratransit observed that their operators want to know more about how services. FAST is a non-unionized shop (see Table 4). and why the company adopts policies and procedures. They

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29 Table 4 Fayetteville Transit Statistics 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Miles Driven 1,142,948 1,076,749 1,201,983 1,137,493 1,151,919 Passengers 1,336,156 954,977 985,341 1,060,756 1,287,047 No. of Passenger/Driver Injuries Requiring No data No data 3/0 13/0 13/0 Immediate Medical Attention No. of Chargeable Accidents with over $2,500 No data 8 3 1 1 Damage Accidents per 100,000 1.89 1.68 1.39 0.76 0.83 Miles Cost of Chargeable No data $35,350.00 $30,178.00 $10,445.00 $9,050.00 Accidents Vehicle Breakdowns/Miles No data No data No data 40/24,083 41/24,505 Between Events Number of Work-Related Injuries Reported (lost 1 1 2 0 2 time) also benefit from general information-sharing: learning more Agency Incentive/Rewards Program about the agency's safety data, updates internal to the agency, and general information about the industry. This open forum FAST currently does not have any individual or group rewards helps satisfy the needs of the operators to feel connected to or incentives related to safety performance. The reasons the organization and to feel as though information is being cited were the limited budget and the possibility of initiat- funneled to them in a timely manner. ing a department-oriented incentive program that would be inconsistent with other city departments. One of the more important aspects of the meetings is that operators are provided the opportunity to sound off about Summary issues, problems, and concerns. The agency firmly believes that by keeping an open line of communication with their FAST is clearly vested in its employees. The employees employees about the issues and concerns they confront on the play active roles in understanding and instituting safety road, and addressing those issues and concerns immediately, throughout the organization. The agency actively seeks input they effectively acknowledge and validate their employees. from its employees and responds to input (suggestions and The agency's ability to use the employees' input has resulted concerns) immediately. In addition, employees are publicly in many changes in the organization, such as route modifica- recognized at the agency's monthly safety meetings for tions that help improve and maintain safety. reporting safety concerns or suggestions and for "outstanding customer service." It is important to note that lunch or dinner were regu- larly provided at FAST's monthly safety meeting; however, Although the agency's policy on discipline is progres- because of city budget cuts, this practice has ceased. sive, its vision is to one day have enough funding and sup- port to proactively change employees' safety behaviors Agency Disciplinary Practices through progressive rewards. From its perspective, motivat- ing employees to follow policies rather than just expecting FAST practices a very traditional approach to progressive them to and punishing them for not doing so, will dramati- discipline as it relates to accidents. Within a three-year cally affect the culture of the organization and thus improve period, an operator's first offense results in a one-day sus- safety. pension; the second offense results in a three-day suspen- sion; and, a third offense is grounds for termination. How- FAST has researched other industries (such as freight ever, if an operator is guilty of gross negligence or violates delivery) that have employed this philosophy and have deter- an organizational policy (such as using a cell phone while mined that reward-based and behavior-based proactive safety driving), the driver may be dismissed. programs yield even higher safety program effectiveness.