March 18, 2024 | Susan Napier-Sewell

NTSB: Caltrain Collision Caused by Worker Fatigue


The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) found worker fatigue the cause of Caltrain collision.

NTSB’s thorough investigation into the March 2022 Caltrain passenger rail collision with construction machines in San Bruno, CA, uncovered a cause of worker fatigue. In fact, the investigation revealed an overall connection between railway safety and worker fatigue.

How the collision happened

Commercial vehicles were parked on a rail track when a southbound train — having used emergency braking to reduce its speed to 43 mph — derailed and caused damage and injuries totaling more than $1.4 million.

In investigative findings, NTSB states that the incident was caused by “worker-in-charge’s (RWIC) decision to release exclusive track occupancy protection, a crucial safety protocol. This lapse allowed the construction equipment and workers to remain unprotected on the main track.

“Despite no direct evidence of fatigue from rotating shifts or medical conditions, the investigation shed light on the RWIC’s exhaustive work schedule leading up to the incident, including seven consecutive days of work without rest, with some days extending to 14 hours. This intense workload was determined to have significantly impaired the RWIC’s performance, culminating in a fatal oversight.”

Content source: Breaking News, “NTSB Report: Worker Fatigue Causes Caltrain Collision in San Bruno, Urges Safety Overhaul,” by Mahnoor Jehangir.

Do you know of a case of worker fatigue in any industry? Leave us a comment to let us know what you may have to add about this topic.

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