Canada TSB Releases Watchlist 2022

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) on Oct. 26 released its Watchlist 2022, putting a “spotlight on key safety issues and actions needed to make Canada’s transportation system even safer."

The Watchlist, which is the twelfth one to be released by TSB, highlights eight key safety issues that require government and industry attention and are the result of hundreds of investigations, “compelling” findings and data, and active TSB recommendations.

TSB Chair Kathy Fox

“Every year, there are numerous occurrences in Canada’s air, marine and rail transportation sectors that could be prevented,” said TSB. “When timely action is not taken, deficiencies persist and continue to pose a risk for the safety of people, property and the environment.”

“These safety issues are complex, difficult to solve, and addressing them takes time,” said TSB Chair Kathy Fox. “To ensure more meaningful progress can be made by industry and Transport Canada, going forward, we’ve decided to extend the Watchlist to every three years.”

Highlighted Watch 2022 issues include:

  • Uncontrolled movements: Added to the Watchlist in 2020, the unplanned and uncontrolled movements of rail equipment create high-risk situations that may have catastrophic consequences, especially when carrying dangerous goods. Between 2010 and 2021, the number of uncontrolled movements has not shown a downward trend.
  • Following railway signal indications: Train crews do not consistently recognize and follow railway signals. In the absence of physical fail-safe defenses, this could result in a collision or a derailment. From 1990 to 2021, the TSB investigated 80 occurrences that could have been prevented using a physical fail-safe defense such as enhanced train control (ETC).
  • Fatigue: One of the most pervasive issues that remains on the Watchlist, fatigue poses a risk to the safety of air, marine, and train operations because of its potential to degrade several aspects of human performance. Effective fatigue management and the reduction of associated risks require profound changes in attitudes and behaviors, both at the management and operational levels.
  • Safety management: Transportation companies are responsible for complying with regulations and managing the safety of their operations. However, the TSB has seen that simply complying with regulations and standards does not ensure that operators are effective at identifying hazards and mitigating risks.
  • Regulatory surveillance: Regulatory surveillance has not always proven effective at verifying whether operators are, or have become, compliant with regulations and able to manage the safety of their operations. Transport Canada as the regulator has not always intervened on a timely basis to ensure transportation operators in the air, marine, and rail sectors take appropriate corrective actions.
  • Commercial fishing safety: Commercial fishing continues to be one of the most hazardous occupations in the country. After 12 years of being on the Watchlist, the same safety deficiencies on board fishing vessels continue to put at risk the lives of thousands of Canadian commercial fish harvesters and the livelihoods of their families and communities.
  • Runway overruns: Despite the millions of successful movements on Canadian runways each year, airplanes sometimes go past the end of a runway surface during landings or rejected takeoffs. While some action has been taken since this issue was added to the Watchlist in 2010, the number of runway overruns in Canada has remained constant since 2005.
  • Risk of collisions from runway incursions: The rate of runway incursions has doubled in the past 12 years, and this issue is a global concern. Although there has not been a recent collision because of a runway incursion in Canada, the potential consequences of such a collision could be catastrophic.

“Some of these issues have been on the Watchlist for far too long, reflecting decades-old safety deficiencies. While some steps have been taken to address these, more simply needs to be done,” said Fox.

For more information on all Watchlist 2022 issues and TSB’s recommendations, click here.

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