The Watchlist—based on an analysis of hundreds of Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation reports, safety concerns and Board recommendations—identifies the transportation safety issues that pose the greatest risk to Canadians. In each case, the TSB has found that actions taken to date are inadequate, and that industry and regulators need to take additional concrete measures to eliminate the risks.
The first Watchlist was released in 2010. The TSB intended it to serve as a blueprint for change in the transportation sector—and that's exactly what it did. It generated broad discussion and engagement by the regulators and industry stakeholders. Now, two years later, 14 of the Board recommendations underpinning the Watchlist have received the TSB's highest rating of Fully Satisfactory.
Our mission is far from complete: it's time for a Watchlist update—addressed issues have been removed; new ones have been added; and some still remain. As Canadians travel from coast to coast to coast, they can do so knowing that the TSB will continue to push for safety along our waterways, on our railroads, and in our skies.
Air safety management systems
Transport Canada does not always provide effective oversight of aviation companies transitioning to safety management systems, while some companies are not even required to have one.
Transport Canada must effectively monitor the integration of SMS practices into day-to-day operations. Moreover, SMS practices need to be adopted by all companies.
Landing accidents and runway overruns
Landing accidents and runway overruns continue to occur at Canadian airports.
In bad weather, pilots need to receive timely information about runway surface conditions. Furthermore, airports need to lengthen the safety areas at the end of runways or install other engineered systems and structures to safely stop planes that overrun.
Risk of collisions on runways
There is an ongoing risk of aircraft colliding with vehicles or other aircraft on the ground at Canadian airports.
Improved procedures and the adoption of enhanced collision warning systems are required at Canada's airports.
Collisions with land and water
Fatalities continue to occur when planes collide with land and water while under crew control.
Improved non-precision approach procedures, along with a wider use of technology, are required to reduce the number of this type of accident.
Marine safety management systems
Transport Canada does not always provide effective oversight of marine transportation companies transitioning to safety management systems (SMS), while some companies are not even required to have one.
Transport Canada should require all commercial vessels to have SMS, and all SMS should be certified and audited.
Loss of life on fishing vessels
The number of accidents involving loss of life on fishing vessels remains too high.
Concerted and coordinated action is required by leaders in the fishing community to implement a safety culture approach to fishing operations, recognizing the interaction of safety deficiencies.
On-board video and voice recorders
There is no requirement for on-board video and voice recorders on locomotives.
The rail industry should ensure that communications in locomotive cabs are recorded.
Following signal indications
There is a risk of a serious train collision or derailment if rail signals are not consistently recognized and followed.
Further safety defences should be implemented to ensure that signal indications of operating speed or operating limits are consistently recognized and followed.
Passenger trains colliding with vehicles
The risk of passenger trains colliding with vehicles remains too high in busy rail corridors.
Transport Canada must implement new grade crossing regulations, develop enhanced standards or guidelines for certain types of crossing signs, and continue its leadership role in crossing safety assessments. A comprehensive solution must also include further improving public awareness of the dangers at railway crossings.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is an independent agency that makes transportation safer by investigating marine, pipeline, rail, and air transportation accidents, and communicating the results to Canadians. For more information or tu contact us, visit the About the TSB and Contact us pages.