News Archive for August, 2014

TSB Report – Lac Megantic

The National Transportation Safety Board (TSB) report relating the Lac Megantic tragedy from 2013 was released this week.  As usual – the TSB report is very detailed and comprehensive.   We have reviewed the report and while there are many good lessons outlined in the document, we thought we would focus in on one paragraph.

To save you some time – we quote from page 157 of the report:

4.3.2 Safety management system audits and essential follow-up

Managing risk to acceptable levels requires that railway companies analyze the findings of regulatory inspections and SMS audits, identify the underlying causes of these findings, and ensure that corrective actions are effectively implemented and are working. For railway companies to effectively manage risk using SMS, the related processes must not only be documented, they must be in place and actively used.


If we look at the wording in the above quote, we would suggest to you that we could substitute wording from ANY industry or sector of the economy in place of “railway companies”.   All organizations must prudently manage their risk.  Audits, (internal and external) coupled with effective processes that are “actively used” – plans, training, and exercises –  are essential not only to safety programs but crisis and emergency response programs as well.

We encourage all risk managers to review the TSB report – and when you do, try putting your name in the place of the railway/company.   See how you think you and your organization would rank when evaluating the key recommendations.

For additional information or support, please don’t hesitate to call.  Yes, we do audits and yes, we help organizations put in place crisis and emergency management programs.

ERMC – 1.800.718.3762 (ERMC)