Old 03-20-2008, 04:20 PM   #1
JackInCT
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Default RR Personnel Policies When Crews Are In An Accident

This is a question for those who are familiar with such matters.

Todays Top Shots (March 20th), unfortunately once again show a fairly major accident; a previous pix of this particular accident stated all the injuries were "minor".

When a crew is involved in such an accident, and they are not at fault, what kind of personnel polices are in effect, i. e., are they given time off at the company's expense, are they expected to sooner or later return to their duties, are they offered a desk job with no cut in pay, etc.,.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:23 PM   #2
WembYard
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Not sure about the States, but in the UK the driver will normally be taken off driving and allowed as much time as required (within reason) to come to terms with the event, this will be on normal or sick pay . The amount of time is quite flexible as it depends on the severity of the incident and the individual concerned, some people can appear unaffected and want to return to work immediately whereas there have been cases where a driver has never driven a train again.

One thing that I think is still a requirement, is that when the driver returns to work, (s)he will need to be accompanied by somebody when they first drive a train over the route that the incident occurred on - I should point out that nearly all trains in the UK are "driver only", where the driver is on his own in the cab. This would normally be a manager or supervisor rather than a fellow driver.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WembYard
One thing that I think is still a requirement, is that when the driver returns to work, (s)he will need to be accompanied by somebody when they first drive a train over the route that the incident occurred on - I should point out that nearly all trains in the UK are "driver only", where the driver is on his own in the cab. This would normally be a manager or supervisor rather than a fellow driver.
Kinda related but different:
When I was dating my wife, we had a big rain storm that washed out a lot of the roads where we live. After that, to get from her house in to town, there was pretty much only one semi-direct route to take since the highway drain was one of the wash outs. I was a green EMT fresh out of class, and heard the EMS service that covers the area where my wife lived get dispatched for a child hit by a car on the "detour" road. I was the first person there and sad to say, but the child was DOA. Nobody was at fault. It was one of thoe unavoidable accidents. It was a very hot day and the child ran out of the woods and across the road and the driver could not stop in time because the asphault was greasy because it was so hot. It was roughly a year before I drove down that road again. I just made up my mind one day, and made the turn. As I got closer to the scene of the accident, I could tell that I was getting anxious. I drove through and got one of those full body shivers, and then I was fine after that and have driven the road since with no problem. I took the looonnnngggg way around until that day. I drove that road by myself that day, and was glad that I did so. I dealt with it my own way and didn't have anyone interfering. If I would have wanted to stop and dwell on the call, I could have. If I would have wanted to turn around and not drive through, I could have without having someone there telling me that I should do it to get it over with, etc. Needless to say, you never get over something like that; you just learn to deal with it. I can still picture that little 5 year old laying on the side of the road like it was yesterday. Does it "bother" me anymore? No. It is just something that you never forget. I have had a few more kid calls like that in my 13 year career, and yes they do bother me when the work is done. Like anything else though, you learn to "deal" with them better. I've seen many deceased people, but I bet I can sit here and type about every child that I have seen.

We encourage our fresh EMTs to not let the first DOA that they experience be the deciding factor on whether they stay in or get out. It is their first and may naturally affect them bad the first time. We have Critical Incident Stress Debriefing teams to help crew members, or even whole stations in the event of them needing help coping.

As far as the RR accompanying the driver, I'm sure it is different than my situation. The driver can't hardly stop the train or turn it around. If the driver would happen to "freeze", the other person is there to take over, and not have a train out of control.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
rahul.v.rao
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Here in India people getting run over by a train quiet often. There are other kind of accidents too.
There are counselling centers for Motormen who experienced a run over or an accident. They are also encouraged to drive the same route again.

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Old 03-29-2008, 06:19 PM   #5
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In an event like a suicide, depending on the crew, they may be relieved on site if they feel "disturbed" or "traumatized" by the incident, or they may continue on (after the police have been to the accident scene, of course, and the RR police release them), I've seen it both ways. Some people take it harder than others, ya know, taking someone's life, and having no control over doing it. For some people, just witnessing a crushed body is bad enough.

As far as a not at fault accident w/ injury, if the injury is severe enough, they may never return to work, by no fault of their own. If the injury is "minor", they could be back immediately. But again, "trauma" comes in to play again, because if you're involved in a, say, head on collision, that can scare the @##*! out of you as a rail, trauma counceling is available, the company doesn't want you running around scared, not paying attention to what you're doing.
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