Policy on the Handling of On-board Recordings

Effective April 22, 2020

1. Context

1.1 The mandate of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is to advance transportation safety by conducting independent safety investigations. Integral to these investigations is the information obtained from on-board recordings.

1.2 On-board recordings, as defined under Section 28 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board (CTAISB) Act, are privileged and shall only be used for the purposes specified in the Act. Therefore, it is imperative that on-board recording equipment and the recordings it contains be handled in a manner that ensures their privileged content is safeguarded.

1.3 The Railway Safety Act and the CTAISB Act have been modified to allow Transport Canada and the railway operator/company limited access to on-board recordings. The Aeronautics Act, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act do not contain such provisions; consequently the organizations operating under these acts are prohibited from using or communicating on-board recordings.

2. Definitions

2.1 “Recording equipment” means any equipment employed in the storage of an on-board recording.

2.2 “On-board recording” means a voice or video recording of operating personnel in any aircraft, ship, locomotive, or pipeline operation as defined in Section 28(1) of the CTAISB Act.

2.3 “Digital copy” means a duplicate of the on-board recording.

2.4 “Useable format” means an on-board recording that is formatted in such a way that it is playable using readily available hardware and software.

2.5 “Restricted folder” means a pre-established folder named “Restricted” in TSB’s internal electronic filing system (iZone) for each occurrence. The Data Collection folder and the Large File Folder each contain a “Restricted” folder.

3. Policy objective

3.1 The purpose of this policy is to address the TSB’s physical handling of on-board recording equipment and the management of the information obtained from it. The policy takes a cohesive, multi-modal approach but accommodates mode-specific requirements.

4. Policy requirements

4.1 Decision to obtain an on-board recording

4.1.1 In accordance with Section 28(3) of the CTAISB Act, a TSB investigator shall obtain on-board recordings that relate to a transportation occurrence if required for the purposes of conducting an investigation.

4.2 Physical on-board recorders

4.2.1 The preferred method of obtaining an on-board recording is seizure of the recording equipment by a TSB investigator.

4.2.2 Any damaged recording equipment shall be sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory for information recovery.

4.2.3 When practicable, undamaged recording equipment shall be sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory for information recovery.

4.2.4 Recording equipment will be handled according to the TSB’s Policy on the Retention and Disposal of Physical Items.

4.3 Digital copy of an on-board recording

4.3.1 If seizing the recording equipment is not feasible, a digital copy of the on-board recording shall be obtained. The entirety of the information contained on the recorder is preferred; however, a defined segment of the recording may be obtained where appropriate.

4.3.2 The on-board recording shall be downloaded in the presence of a TSB investigator unless otherwise authorized by the relevant director of investigations (DOI).

4.3.3 A TSB investigator must ensure that a confidentiality agreement is in place before a third party downloads the onboard recording.

4.3.4 Unless otherwise authorized by the DOI, the data applicable to the occurrence under investigation shall be deleted from the on-board recorder after it has been successfully downloaded to another medium for use in that investigation.

4.4 Retention and disposition of recording equipment

4.4.1 Retention, return, or disposition of on-board recording equipment will be done in accordance with the TSB’s Policy on the Retention and Disposal of Physical Items.

4.4.2 Any on-board recording equipment obtained as part of an investigation must be handled and stored in a manner that prevents unauthorized access to the equipment.

4.4.3 All on-board recording equipment obtained as part of an investigation will be erased and returned to the appropriate party as per section 20 of the CTAISB Act.

4.5 Retention and disposition of on-board recordings

4.5.1 On-board recordings in a useable format shall be stored electronically in the appropriate iZone Restricted folder for the occurrence.

4.5.2 Recordings stored on equipment used for retrieval or transportation shall be deleted from that equipment as soon as they are transferred to iZone.

4.5.3 Anyone who has custody of on-board recordings must implement safeguards against their access by unauthorized individuals.

4.5.4 Copies of recordings shall not be made once they have been stored in iZone unless the recording can be played back only if it is saved on the playback computer itself.

4.5.5 A copy of a recording that is temporarily saved outside the occurrence’s Restricted folder for the purpose described in para 4.5.4 shall be disposed of as soon as it is no longer required for that purpose.

4.5.6 Retention and disposition of on-board recordings shall be in accordance with TSB information management policies.

4.6 Access to on-board recordings

4.6.1 Access to on-board recordings shall be granted in accordance with section 28 of the CTAISB Act.

4.6.2 Investigators-in-charge (IICs) may provide access to an on-board recording during an investigation to a third party whose expertise is required for data retrieval or analysis if authorized by the DOI.

4.6.3 Where the TSB is investigating an occurrence, access to the on-board recordings will not be granted to the operator/company.

5. Authorities

5.1 This policy is issued under the authority of the Board in accordance with section 8(1)(c) of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act. It was approved by the Board on April 22nd, 2020, after consultation with the Executive Committee.

5.2 This policy will be reviewed and may be updated in response to changes in government priorities or TSB strategic direction, but at least once every 5 years.

6. Roles and responsibilities

6.1 Chair

The Chair is responsible for initiating the periodic review and update of this policy by the Board.

6.2 The Board

The Board is the responsible authority for this policy.

6.3 Chief operating officer

The chief operating officer is responsible for the overall implementation, monitoring, and oversight of this policy, as well as for seeking interpretation and guidance from the Board from time to time.

6.4 Directors of investigations, director, Operational Services and director general, Corporate Services

Directors are responsible for ensuring that their employees adhere to this policy. DOIs are responsible for authorizing non-TSB staff access to on-board recordings during an investigation.

6.5 Investigator-in-charge

The investigator-in-charge is responsible for authorizing TSB staff access to on-board recordings and ensuring that their team adheres to this policy.

6.6 Manager, Recorders and Vehicle Performance

The manager, Recorders and Vehicle Performance is responsible for ensuring that division staff adhere to this policy.

7. References

7.1 The following acts and regulations apply:

8. Enquiries

8.1 Questions about this policy may be addressed to:

General enquiries

Date de modification :