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CTY LTD Update
The purpose of this Information Bulletin is to bring everyone up to date
on what has happened since the CTY LTD Ratification.
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rail industry for decades but the problem persists. We are now asking
you to help us document the problem.
Research slated for causes,
remedies to railway suicide
Source: Canadian Occupational Health &
Published: July 21st 2008
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Transport Canada and the Federal Railroad
Administration (FRA) in the United States are
partnering up to research the prevalence of suicide
on railways and possible countermeasures.
Noting that suicides can take a heavy toll on the
mental health of railway staff, the two
organizations have agreed to undertake the
comprehensive study, which is to be completed within
five years. The research will be carried out by a
third party consultant.
Jean Riverin, a Transport Canada spokesman, says the
project aims to provide "a clearer picture of the
prevalence and also the causal factors of suicides
on railway rights of way." It will recommend
"effective, socially-based measures" to reduce
incidences of suicide and it will "identify
strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of these
suicides on railway staff."
No suicide incidents in particular have prompted the
study, he says. Rather, Transport Canada and the FRA
have identified the topic as an area where
comprehensive information is lacking.
"The potential for good to come out of this is
significant," says Roger Cameron, spokesman for the
Railway Association of Canada, which includes large
and small railway companies across the country.
"There is not a clear understanding of just how
extensive the suicide issue is," Cameron says,
adding there are indications that suicides might
account for half of all deaths on railway property.
The number of collisions between trespassers and
trains has fluctuated over the years, but fell from
a high of 127 in 1996 to 91 in 2006. Of the 91
collisions, 58 resulted in deaths and 27 in serious
injuries, according to the Transportation Safety
Board of Canada.
The effects of a collision on a train engineer and
other rail workers can be significant. "It has an
impact, there's no question about it. It can be very
stressful," Cameron says, noting that collisions may
force an employee to miss time from work, which is
something railway companies encourage as part of
their set procedures for collisions.