Characteristics of Non-Punitive Employee Safety Reporting Systems for Public Transportation as Abridged from TCRP Report 218

The objective of this research is to produce a compilation of best practices used in non-punitive employee safety reporting (ESR) systems at transit agencies, including examples of how ESR systems benefit transit agencies and their employees. This report will support the public transportation industry’s efforts to institute non-punitive ESR as a critical element in safety management systems implementation. The literature review and background research framed the subsequent narrative and findings from interviews with public transportation agencies. For the purposes of this report, the agency that implemented the ESR system determined successful elements. The researchers did not perform a statistical modeling or evaluation method to determine elemental success; rather, success determination stemmed from the implementing agencies. This report also identifies challenges faced through the implementation phases of ESR system deployment, as presented through the literature review and transit agency case studies. Report findings identify benefits associated with wide dissemination of commonly reported hazards and methods to address them, such as the Aviation Safety Reporting System, or the Confidential Close Call Reporting System. There are also recognized benefits in third-party administration and management of ESR systems through reduced likelihoods of associated punitive or retaliatory consequences. Therefore, researchers determined the public transportation industry could benefit from central repository reporting options for hazards and near-miss information aggregation to further support data-driven decision-making. Additionally, industry evidentiary protections would ensure greater reporting. Finally, the public transportation industry would benefit from a non-punitive ESR toolkit or online resource repository that includes samples for agency customization.


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  • Accession Number: 01766223
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 22 2021 5:59AM