Technical Resources
The Office is supporting the transit industry’s technical capacity for safety and security information by improving the timeliness and comprehensiveness of safety and security data analysis. The Office of Safety and Security is also highlighting key issues and setting national priorities through the NTD, Drug and Alcohol, Voluntary Security Review, and State Safety Oversight Programs. The Office is working to create an industry culture that understands not just the importance of safety, but also how it can be accomplished in an environment of strained finances and operating pressures. Through training, technical assistance reviews, guidelines, newsletters, and policy, the Office identifies and teaches those skills and practices that enable the balancing of hazards and controls to ensure the maximum protection for passengers, employees, system property, and the environment within the limits of available resources. The FTA Organizational Chart on page 2 illustrates the various offices working to ensure that safety protocols are applied and maintained within the transportation industry.
Addressing Safety Issues in New Start Projects

When a systematic approach to safety and security is applied during the planning, design, construction, testing, and acceptance phases of a transit project, it ensures design decisions involving safety and security are logically evaluated and documented, and that determinations regarding risk acceptance are clearly communicated and understood. More importantly, it reduces the likelihood and severity of operational hazards to an acceptable level during the operational phase of the project. This process helps assure that the highest practical level of operational safety is achieved. The chart on page 5 illustrates the different aspects of system safety during the design and construction phases of new start projects.

To promote this approach to safety during the acquisition of major rail transit projects, the FTA-APTA Joint Task Force on System Safety is preparing the Handbook for the Safety Certification of Rail Transit Projects. This handbook, which will be released by the end of the year, reflects the Task Force’s commitment to reach industry with a recommended practice for safety certification that ensures that:

• Safety objectives are developed for the entire project.

• A collective approach is used to develop strategies to achieve safety goals and to incorporate safety activities into the larger project management approach.

• Information flow and coordination regarding safety is maximized among all departments and organizations involved in the project.

• Roles and responsibility for safety are clearly delineated within the transit agency project organizations.

• Each department or organization is fully aware of the plans, actions, and constraints of all others involving safety.

• The combined efforts of all departments and organizations are optimized for safety within available resources.

• Duplicate efforts are reduced or eliminated.

The handbook is intended as a reference to safety certification for rail transit safety, project development, and project management personnel. It describes the main concepts and benefits of a safety certification program (SCP), and outlines the Joint Task Force’s recommended safety certification process. It provides information, sample forms, and text to support preparation of key SCP elements, including:

• Safety Certification Management Plan

• Safety Design Criteria

• Hazard Management Policy and Plan

• Verification and Conformance Checklists

• Formal Certification

continued on page 5

FTA Office of Safety and Security

Programs and Resources

More information can be obtained about the Office’s Programs and Technical Assistance by visiting the following Web sites:

http://www.fta.dot.gov (click "Safety and Security")

http://www.tsi.dot.gov (Transportation Safety Institute)

 http://policy.rutgers.edu/nti/ (National Transit Institute)

Or by contacting the Safety and Security Clearinghouse at (617) 494-2108

 

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State Safety Oversight • Issue 10 • October 2001

   

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