Why track hazardous incidents?

The Federal Railway Administration Rule §236.1023 requires that upon the occurrence of a safety critical failure of a PTC system any resulting hazard must be reported if:

  • The hazard has not been IDed in the RR’s PTCSP, or
  • The frequency of the hazard exceeds the threshold set forth in the RR’s PTCSP.

In the following the full paragraph (e) of 49 CFR §236.1023 from the Federal Railway Administration is provided:

(e) After the product is placed in service, the railroad shall maintain a database of all safety-relevant hazards as set forth in the PTCSP and those that had not previously been identified in the PTCSP. If the frequency of the safety-relevant hazard exceeds the thresholds set forth in the PTCSP, or has not been previously identified in the appropriate risk analysis, the railroad shall:

  1. Notify the applicable vendor or supplier and FRA of the failure, malfunction, or defective condition that decreased or eliminated the safety functionality;
  2. Keep the applicable vendor or supplier and FRA apprised on a continual basis of the status of any and all subsequent failures; and
  3. Take prompt counter measures to reduce or eliminate the frequency of the safety-relevant hazards below the threshold identified in the PTCSP.

To fulfill this requirement a structured Failure Reporting and Corrective Action System (FRACAS) process is one of the most important and efficient elements for improving reliability and safety. The following process shows the general approach:

General Process Chart