News release

TSB issues update on 2016 safety Watchlist: “Stakeholders are definitely taking notice”

Gatineau, Quebec, 3 May 2017 —Delivering on last fall's promise of a more proactive approach, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) issued an update Wednesday, highlighting recent meetings with key stakeholders concerning the Board's safety Watchlist.

TSB Chair Kathy Fox said that, rather than wait for improvements that can sometimes take years to occur, TSB investigators and senior officials have spent the past six months actively engaging federal and provincial leaders, as well as industry executives, to push for concrete action on what the Board sees as the most important safety issues facing Canada's transportation network.

“We're not just looking at Transport Canada," said Fox. “We've also met with individual railways, airport authorities, industry associations, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and various senior government officials at the federal and provincial level. In other words, it's about getting our message across to as many decision-makers as possible, from coast to coast."

Fox said most of the meetings have been targeted so that particular issues are raised with those best-placed to take action. Discussions with executives at Toronto and Vancouver's major airport authorities, for example, focused on the issue of avoiding collisions on the runway and runway overruns. Meetings aimed at improving commercial fishing safety, meanwhile, were held with provincial officials in PEI, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and that province's Workers Compensation Board. Similar meetings were also held with officials and associations in New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Quebec.

Given that rail safety issues—such as the transportation of flammable liquids, following signal indications, fatigue management and the use of onboard recorders—comprise almost half the Watchlist, Fox said the TSB has also pushed hard for action in this area. Investigators, executives, and members of the Board have met with groups including some railways, the Railway Association of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers. In each case, said Fox, “stakeholders are definitely taking notice."

“Some organizations are sharing Watchlist information on their websites and, after talking to us, many are now engaging in conversations of their own."

Although Fox characterized the reaction of the past few months as “positive," she acknowledged that many challenges remain which may influence progress and the TSB must continue with its proactive efforts. She also said the Board will consider more updates in future, as necessary—both to keep Canadians informed and to hold stakeholders accountable for their commitments. “We promised to report publicly, so that's exactly what we're going to keep doing."

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053

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