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8 chapter three Survey ResultS The primary focus of this synthesis project was to document It should be noted that several figures included later in this the effectiveness of bus operator rewards and discipline pro- chapter incorporated responses from those surveys deemed grams on bus transit safety. As part of this effort, an on-line incomplete. Therefore, there is representation from more survey was sent to 30 U.S. and Canadian transit agencies pre- than the 25 responses deemed substantially complete. identified as having active and innovative safety programs. The survey focused on collecting information from transit systems on their organization's commitment to safety, reward, and dis- Overview of Respondents cipline programs, and agency safety standards and practices. The analysis of the 25 responses categorized as "substantially The survey's three focus areas included: complete" revealed a good balance in transit agency size and geographic location. The respondents were located in 14 U.S. The Organization and Safety states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Table 1 and Fig- Organizational Policies Related to Safety Discipline ure 1 show the respondents' disbursement. Safety Incentives and Awards. In addition, the size of the responding transit systems was This chapter describes the process used to conduct the survey examined using the National Transit Database. Systems were and summarizes the results. subdivided into four groups based on their annual passengers transported. As detailed in Table 2, a good cross section of transit agency sizes was represented in the survey respondents. Methodology Finally, the responding systems were examined to deter- The online survey "Improving Transit Safety through Rewards mine the types of transit services that each agency provided. and Discipline" was designed to elicit information on each organization's safety policies, safety discipline programs, and Figure 2 indicates that the responding transit agencies all safety incentives and rewards programs. Once finalized by the operated fixed route bus service, most also provided para- TCRP synthesis Topic Panel, the survey was posted online transit services, and several operated heavy rail, light rail, and pretested by three transit agencies. The pretest resulted in commuter rail, and/or bus rapid transit. minor changes to the survey. The final survey is included in Appendix A. Figure 3 provides a summary of the types of areas served by the respondents. A targeted list of transit agencies with active bus operator safety programs was used in this effort. These candidate tran- Overall, the respondents represent a good cross section of sit agencies were identified based on recommendations from TCRP panel members, trade organizations such as APTA and service modes and service areas. CTAA, and from agencies identified in the literature review. The project team contacted the candidate participants to The Organization and Safety gauge their interest and willingness to participate in the study effort and to identify an agency contact person. Organization Mission Statements and Culture Thirty transit agencies were identified to participate in A mission statement is a formal, written statement clearly the synthesis study. Each of the selected transit agencies was identifying the purpose of a company or organization. The sent an e-mail explaining the purpose and importance of the objective of a mission statement is to provide a framework for survey and providing a link to the online survey instrument. decision making, identify organizational goals, and provide a Follow-up e-mails were sent approximately two weeks after sense of organizational direction. In addition to defining the the original contact to encourage participation. Complete purpose of a company or organization, the public transit indus- responses were received from 25 of the 30 candidate transit try uses mission statements to create the organization's overall agencies, a response rate of 83.3%. The list of the 25 respon- culture and typically includes specific language about safety, dents is included in Appendix B. mobility, impact on the environment, and the economy.

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9 Table 1 Geographic Distribution of Respondents As part of the "Improving Transit Safety through An important follow-up question inquired if the topic of Rewards and Discipline" survey, several questions were safety was declared in the mission statement. Only 58.6% proposed to respondents about their organization's mission of respondents indicated that safety was mentioned in their statement. agency's mission statement (Figure 5). The first survey question simply asked respondents if Critical to the effectiveness of any mission statement is their agency had a mission statement. All survey respondents that employees not only know what the mission statement is, indicated that their transit system had a mission statement but that its essence permeates the organization. When asked (Figure 4). if and where the agency mission statement was posted or dis- played within their agency, 71.6% of the respondents reported that their agency's mission statement was posted within their organization or included in organizational documentation. Table 3 provides a summary of the responses identifying how the agencies incorporate the agency mission statement within the organization. System Safety Program Plans According to APTA, the primary purpose for the existence of a transit system is to move people safely. To accomplish this goal, an individual tran- sit system must be able to identify all hazards in order to elimi- nate, minimize, or control them, and identify all safety-related responsibilities, delegating these responsibilities to the proper FIGURE 1 Locations of North American transit operators units within the organization and providing these units with the participating in study. resources to carry out their assigned responsibilities. A transit

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10 Table 2 Relative Size of Respondents system has the responsibility of applying operating, technical, incorporation, and maintenance of a transit SSPP. All survey and management techniques and principles to the safety aspects respondents indicated that their agency has a written SSPP or of the system throughout its life cycle to reduce hazards to the lowest practical level through the most effective use of available similar document (Figure 6). resources. This process is known as system safety. The topic of transit safety has evolved over time and, in A transit system establishes a System Safety Program many cases, is now a key performance indicator for transit Plan (SSPP) (or similar document) by formalizing this pro- systems. As a result, the transit industry, along with many cess in a written document. Although such a plan is not a other safety-oriented industries, including the nuclear indus- federal requirement, many states require the development, try, developed the concept of "safety culture," a term that FIGURE 2 Types of services provided.

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11 FIGURE 3 Types of areas served. FIGURE 4 Agency mission statement. FIGURE 5 Mention of safety in mission statement.

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12 Table 3 Use of Their Mission Statement FIGURE 6 System safety program plans.

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13 originated sometime in the late 1980s. Safety culture is often Employee Involvement used to describe the way in which safety is managed in an organization, and typically echoes the mission, attitudes, per- The existence of a SSPP does not ensure effective self- ceptions, and principles valued by employees as they relate implementation and regulation. The key to any safety program to safety. is employee (i.e., employees, unions) "buy-in" (i.e., accep- tance of and commitment to the plan). Some research has The SSPPs typically include requirements for regular shown that behavior-based safety can be an excellent means updates and revisions. The plans also detail specific responsi- of increasing employee involvement, encouraging peers to bilities for the operating units within the agency. The endorse- provide safety and risk feedback to one another. With proactive ment of the plan by the agency general manager is a common management of occupational safety and risk, employees are praised for safe behaviors, reinforcing them. requirement. With the concept of "buy-in" in mind, survey respondents In most medium to large transit agencies, responsibility were asked several questions about union and employee for plan oversight and management is assigned to safety, involvement and education of the agency's SSPP. security, risk, and/or training departments, with those duties typically assigned to directors of operations or maintenance Figure 7 reveals that 50% of survey respondents included in smaller systems. While one office or individual is usually organized labor unions in the application of organizational assigned lead responsibility, most agencies employ some form safety programs or processes. Additionally, most of the respon- of designated safety committees. dents who indicated that organized labor unions are involved in the application of the agency's safety programs/process noted Most of the respondents providing details used an inter- their involvement through regular participation in monthly or nal safety committee as a method of communicating and quarterly safety committees meetings. evaluating safety-related incidents and accidents. In each agency, the safety committee was an organizational structure As detailed in Appendix B, 4 of the 25 responding tran- where members represent a group of employees. However, sit agencies are not unionized. When adjusting the survey the size of the safety committee and the membership varied. responses for these nonunionized systems, the percent Although survey respondents were not specifically asked to involving their unions in the application of their safety pro- provide detailed information about their safety committees, gram or process increases to 59%. additional information was extrapolated from case example interviews. Most agencies reported that safety committees Several of the questions in the survey provided an oppor- included a mix of representatives from both organized labor tunity for the respondents to supply open-ended responses (if applicable) and management, and typically would include to provide additional details. These responses are being pro- a safety officer, lead trainer, transit supervisor, maintenance vided following the related question in a consolidated format. representative, and bus operator representative (peer). Many of the respondents indicated that having membership diver- Consolidated Open Ended Responses: sity on the safety committee was advantageous, leading to better overall participation and providing the employees with The union participates in the safety committee meet- a sense of ownership of the agency's safety program. ings and accident review committees. FIGURE 7 Involvement of organized labor in safety.

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14 The union is solicited for safety suggestions and There is a one-hour training session that explains the recommendations. concepts of safety and how to safely perform each func- The union participates in the development and imple- tion. Safe procedures are also described to each new mentation of the SSPP. operator beginning a new project. Safety is covered in every aspect of our six-week train- ing program. Focus on Safety (New and Existing Employees) Introduction to safety programs vary at all locations. Following the concept of buy-in, the survey posed an addi- Safety is taught as the first of three main priorities. tional question to survey respondents about new bus opera- The curriculum repeatedly emphasizes the importance of tor orientation. As anticipated, 100% of survey respondents safety--that the 3 S's are safety, service, and security. indicated that safety was addressed in orientation. Respon- Operator training involves numerous presentations dents further described the importance of safety in their orga- including a piece by the director of safety, the executive nization, stating that it is the first topic emphasized in new director, and others. bus operator orientation. Respondents added that safety is the All new bus operator hires are required to attend a four- principal theme taught in operator training and that it is also week training program. TSI (Transportation Safety Insti- pervasive throughout their agency's entire training program. tute) Bus Operator Training Program is this agency's formal training program. The program includes a combi- In addition to bus operator orientation and training, survey nation of classroom training and road training. respondents were also asked about the involvement of bus Staff from safety/security provides an overview. operator participation in safety meetings. As detailed in Fig- This training lasts two days. The System Safety and ure 8, 96% of the agencies surveyed reported that bus opera- Environmental Management Department each oversees tors participated in the meetings, with the frequencies of the one day, familiarizing new bus operators/employees with meetings ranging from monthly to quarterly. the different types of Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandatory classes, the system safety Consolidated Open Ended Responses: program plan, and systems training. It is explained that safety is mandatory and a condition Meetings included basic introduction to safety policies of employment. and introduction to bus safety and yard safety. Safety is discussed at orientation and during our eight- Topics included violence in the work place, health and week new operator training program. safety orientation, and specific work site safety orienta- Each new employee, whether an operator or from any tion as well as supporting safety messaging throughout other discipline, and whether union or management, the new bus driver training program. goes through safety orientation training upon hiring. Training covered defensive driving and bus maneuver- All new operators learn immediately that safety is num- ing training through lecture and discussion, and videos. ber one and receive extensive safety training. As part of our performance-based contract with our Safety and security, and defensive driving techniques contractors, new driver training requires orientation by are covered during driver training. the company which includes safety elements. All drivers receive passenger assistance training and It is our number one priority and is reinforced it in every videos on safety and security. section of our training. Safety is pervasive throughout the training process. FIGURE 8 Integration of safety in operator training and meetings.

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15 The risk manager and safety and security director have Severity of hazard categorized and prioritized a module and spend a whole day on this subject. Use of a hazard identification and mitigation matrix to Safety procedures are included throughout the syllabus prioritize the identified hazards in terms of creating the right habits--we cover each Use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). aspect of a safe driving system and review based on the five keys at each opportunity. Consolidated Open Ended Responses: Employees are encouraged to submit reports to the Hazard Identification Programs superintendents of each facility. Superintendents evalu- Hazard identification is another foundation of a safety manage- ate the reports and sort out the departments that need to ment system. Hazard identification programs teach employees take action for each such hazard. how to identify, report, record, and correct potential safety We have a formalized reporting structure and documents and security risks. The most important requirement of a haz- to record data for tracking and compliance improvement ard identification program is that it be continuously assessed purposes. and improved to ensure that all hazards are identified and con- Each of the contractors has its own process and these trolled when new work starts or work processes change. are identified in their training programs. Our Office of Safety and Security has provided manuals In another attempt to gauge how transit organizations and training to all managers and supervisors regarding integrate safety into the culture of the organization, as well as hazardous materials and how to contain any spills and explore hazard identification programs, survey respondents how to deal with different situations. were asked two questions. Right-To-Know (MSDS) and annual PPE (personal pro- tective equipment)/Haz COM (hazard communication) Does your organization have a "hazard identification" training. process? The employee finding a hazard is requested to bring it If yes, how does it work? to the supervisor's attention. There is a Safety and Environmental Inspection Plan Figure 9 illustrates that more than 88% of respondents which provides for monthly inspections using a safety have a hazard identification process. The following provide checklist. some of the varied approaches used to the hazard identifica- Tagging and signage. tion process: The hazard identification and mitigation matrix is used during the facility safety audit conducted by the safety Safety committee responsibility committee. Procedures detailed in operator manual Training is based on the SSPP plan: evaluate, determine Preventable accident committee risk, rate, and then address. Monthly job site inspections Hazards are normally categorized in terms of severity Reporting process and probability of occurrence. Multiple reporting options: radio, phone, forms--all Maintenance employees are trained to identify hazards requiring a written response and to deal with them accordingly. Operators are trained Signage and tagging to contact the dispatcher about possible hazards. FIGURE 9 Hazard identification process.