Strengthening transportation safety for Canadians and their communities
OTTAWA, June 27, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of
Transport, today announced new rules aimed at further safeguarding
communities along our country's railway lines.
The new measures, which the Minister highlighted as part of her call
with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities earlier today, introduce
amendments under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act; the Railway Safety Management System Regulations; and the Transportation Information Regulations. Key changes include:
Requiring 35 provincially regulated railway and light-rail companies
operating on federal track to develop and implement Safety Management
Formalizing new DOT-111 tank car standards that will require thicker
steel walls and other reinforcements to reduce the risk of spills on
Improving data reporting requirements for railways, requiring them to
proactively identify and address safety risks before accidents happen.
These changes will help build a stronger safety culture among railway
companies, strengthen requirements for rail tank cars and other means
of containment, and help reduce the risk of accidents.
Transport Canada continues to work closely with stakeholders—railways,
shippers, municipalities, first responders, and U.S. officials— to
protect the health and safety of Canadians.
"Our government is committed to railway safety and the safe movement of
dangerous goods. The upcoming regulations will further strengthen
safety in Canada's already robust transportation system."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
Backgrounder: Amendments to transportation of dangerous goods
Backgrounder: Railway Safety Management System Regulations
Backgrounder Transportation Information Regulations
Amendments to transportation of dangerous goods legislation
Improving the way dangerous goods are transported by rail
In July 2014, amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act will be published in Canada Gazette, Part II. These amendments will update the DOT-111 tank car standard,
introduce new and revised means of containment criteria, improve how
dangerous goods are classified, and harmonize the way these goods are
labelled across North America.
There are many classes and types of tank cars, all designed to be strong
enough to handle the forces of a full train in motion. The DOT-111 is
designated to carry liquids.
The DOT-111 tank car is a large family of railcars, each one built to
carry specific goods. While all tank cars share certain common design
features, not all DOT-111 tank cars are built the same.
Improved DOT-111 tank car standard
The new standard for the DOT‑111 tank car includes thicker steel as well as head shield and top fitting
protection. All newly manufactured tank cars built for petroleum crude
oil service are required to comply with the new standard. The
department continues to work with stakeholders, including officials in
the U.S., to further improve the North American fleet of DOT-111 tank
Means of containment standards
Transport Canada is introducing new, and revising current, means of
containment standards. A safe means of containment—the container or
packaging used to hold goods—prevents the release of dangerous goods
that could endanger life, health, property or the environment under
normal conditions of transport.
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act divides dangerous goods into nine classes according to the type of
danger they present. Shippers are responsible for classifying dangerous
goods, completing documentation, selecting the proper means of
containment and displaying dangerous goods safety marks on the
Following the amendments, shippers will also be required to keep records
for up to five years on the classification of dangerous goods and the
sampling method used for crude oil. These classification changes will
make it easier for inspectors to verify compliance with regulatory
Railway Safety Management System Regulations
An effective SMS places safety at the cornerstone of all railway
Transport Canada is proposing new regulations to replace the Railway Safety Management System Regulations (SMS Regulations) that came into force in 2001. The new SMS
Regulations, which are expected to be published in Canada Gazette, Part I, in July 2014, will modernize existing requirements and help
railways better identify and manage safety risks.
Extending requirements to local railway companies
Since 2001, federal railway companies have been required to have an SMS.
Under the proposed SMS Regulations, local railway companies will also
be required to develop an SMS. A local railway company is a
provincially regulated railway company or light-rail commuter service
that operates on federal track; there are 35 of these companies in
Making safety a shared responsibility
An effective SMS requires leadership at every level of an organization.
The proposed SMS Regulations will help railways better integrate safety
into day-to-day operations, so that the entire company—from front line
employees to senior management—make safety management a priority.
Under the proposed changes, railway companies will be required to
appoint an executive legally accountable for safety. A process must
also be created for employees to report safety risks to their employer
without fear of being reprimanded.
Introducing requirements to enhance SMS
The proposed SMS Regulations will improve how railway companies develop,
implement and assess their SMS. The proposed changes include new or
updated processes to:
Encourage employees to report accidents to senior management;
Analyze data and trends to identify safety concerns;
Manage organizational knowledge so that employees can perform their
duties more safely;
Improve work scheduling to prevent employee fatigue;
Create annual safety targets and develop tools to achieve them.
What is an SMS?
In the past, railway companies managed safety through compliance with
prescriptive rules and regulations. As research progressed during the
1990s, it became clear that it takes more than compliance to ensure
safety. What railway companies needed was an organization-wide approach
to identify and address risks before an accident happens.
This led to the introduction of safety management systems (SMS). An SMS
provides railway companies with a focused approach to building safety
throughout an organization and into every aspect of its day-to-day
An SMS does not replace any regulations, rules or standards. It is a
system that helps companies better comply with federal legislation and
make safety an organization-wide priority.
The basic component includes safety goals, performance targets, risk
assessments, responsibilities and authorities, rules and procedures,
and monitoring and evaluation processes.
Transport Canada monitors compliance through formal SMS audits and
detailed inspections of infrastructure, equipment and operations, and
does not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action in cases where
non-compliance is found.
Transportation Information Regulations
Increased data collection will help prevent accidents and improve
railway safety across Canada
Transport Canada is proposing amendments to the Transportation Information Regulations to better identify and address safety risks before accidents happen.
The amendments are expected to be published in Canada Gazette, Part I, in July 2014.
Railway data reporting in Canada
Currently, railway safety data is collected after an accident
happens—commonly referred to as lagging indicators. Lagging indicators
help Transport Canada target inspections and monitor compliance with
the Railway Safety Act and its regulations, rules and standards.
Under the proposed changes, Class I and Class II rail carriers will be
required to report leading indicator data to Transport Canada. Leading
indicators are measurable factors that can be used to proactively
identify and address safety risks before accidents occur. They would
improve safety by supporting better planning and performance
measurement, more focused audits and inspections, and targeted programs
that address specific safety issues.
ICAD Working Group
The Information, Collection, Analysis and Dissemination (ICAD) Working
Group was created to respond to recommendations stemming from the Railway Safety Act Review. The Working Group, which comprised representatives from
government, industry and labour, identified 15 leading indicators to be
gathered under the proposed regulations.
The leading indicators are grouped into three categories—operations,
equipment, and engineering—and may include, for example, data on:
railway staffing and training activities (e.g. employee proficiency
tests and results);
condition and maintenance of locomotives and rolling stock (e.g. number
of broken or cracked wheels found on a train in a yard); and
railway infrastructure repairs (e.g. number of bridges with temporary
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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