Following the mid-September 2007 derailment of a train near Terrace, BC – the third such incident that has occurred in less than two months – questions have been raised about safety procedures in the railroad industry.
The first incident occurred in early August, when two trains collided near Prince George, BC, resulting in a fire which required emergency personnel to attend the scene. The second incident occurred when 10 empty rail cars jumped the tracks in Quesnel, BC, and the latest incident occurred when a 29 of 99 cars came off the tracks.
Thankfully, no injuries resulted from any of the incidents, but it appears that the railroad industry (not to mention, any industries where safety is a major concern) may need to re-examine their safety procedures in order to ensure that such incidents can be avoided in the future. While the federal government has provided a list of conditions for the safe and secure operations of our railroads, perhaps these organizations should re-examine their current processes of safety management and records maintenance. With the adoption of a procedure that thoroughly tracks histories of incidents, inspections and training, an organization is better able to analyze the potential for such incidents – and take full measures to avoid unnecessary hazardous incidents in the future.
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