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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Proposed Key Elements of a Critical Incident Intervention Program for Reducing the Effects of Potentially Traumatic Exposure on Train Crews to Grade Crossing and Trespasser Incidents

Document Series
Technical Reports
Richard Gist, Ph.D.
Report Number
Subject Grade Crossing Technology, Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, Human Factors, Trespasser Programs
Critical incident, trauma, trespassing, grade crossing, train crews, critical incident stress plan

This independent report presents work conducted regarding project FR-RDD-0024-11-01 to advise and support the formulation of regulations and supporting materials concerning “critical incident” response plans for rail carriers covered by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Sec. 410. This report addresses the following topics: 1. Review of literature on established and emerging research findings with respect to occupational exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTEs); 2.Review of literature on current best practices with respect to prevention, mitigation, early intervention, and evidence-based treatment of established sequelae from such exposures; 3. Review of current practices by key rail carriers as reported through the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to determine level of consensus reflected in existing programs respecting critical requirements of the authorizing act (e.g., definition of “critical incident,” release from duty of impacted employees, intervention design, and evaluation of outcomes); 4. Preparation of a general guidance template outlining key features that might be expected in model programs, reflecting current best practices and existing consensus; and 5. Comparison of reported features within existing carrier programs with critical elements of current best practices.

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Last updated: Friday, April 4, 2014