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Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. What is considered a close call?
  2. Who can report close calls?
  3. When should I file a report?
  4. How do I report a close call?
  5. How often can I submit a report to NASA C3RS?
  6. What can I expect after I submit a report?
  7. What form do I use to file my report?
  8. If C3RS is confidential, why is my name required?
  9. Are there any conditions under which NASA will reveal my identity?
  10. How does NASA keep my report confidential?
  11. What is the PRT and do they see my report?
  12. What is an IMOU?
  13. Who receives waivers from carrier discipline and FRA enforcement?
  14. Are there conditions for receiving waivers?
  15. What close call events are outside the scope of C3RS?
  16. Does C3RS replace or modify other safety processes currently operating at your carrier?

Questions and Answers

1. What is considered a close call?

A close call is any condition or event that may have the potential for more serious safety consequences. Some examples of close calls could be, but not limited to, a train missing a temporary speed restriction, a train striking a derail without derailing, a blue flag not removed after releasing equipment, or proper track protection not provided during track maintenance.
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2. Who can report close calls?

Employees whose carrier and craft are covered by a written Implementing Memorandum of Understanding (IMOU) can participate in NASA C3RS and receive a waiver from discipline. Anyone submitting a report to NASA C3RS will receive confidential treatment.

Managers can submit a report confidentially, but each carrier’s IMOU indicates whether or not managers receive a waiver from discipline.  
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3. When should I file a report?

File a report if you are involved in or witness an event that meets the close call definition. Submit the form to NASA within the timeline specified in your carrier’s IMOU. Most current IMOUs require three calendar days, not counting weekends and Federal Holidays, from the date of the incident to receive a waiver from discipline and some IMOUs describe boundary limits.
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4. How do I report a close call?

Complete the report form either through secure electronic report submission or by mail. Postage-paid NASA C3RS reporting forms can be found at your on-duty location or download and print a pdf form from the website.
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5. How often can I submit a report to NASA C3RS?

There is no limit to the number of times that you can file a report.
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6. What can I expect after I submit a report?

  • For an electronic submission, NASA will provide you with a verification code number for submission purposes.
  • An analyst may contact you to clarify or obtain additional information.
  • NASA will date stamp and return the identification strip at the top of your report by U.S. Mail. Retain the identification strip as it is your proof of report submission.
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7. What form do I use to file my report?

NASA C3RS has developed three reporting forms: Transportation, Mechanical, and Engineering, which is tailored to specific employee crafts. You should use the form that pertains to the craft you are working in. Even if you encounter a safety issue that involves a track or engineering issue as a transportation employee, you should fill out the Transportation form.
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8. If C3RS is confidential, why is my name required?

It may be necessary for the NASA C3RS rail safety analyst to contact a reporter to clarify or obtain additional data for an accurate, detailed understanding of a report. Once the report analysis is completed, the identification strip is removed and mailed to the reporter at the address they provide. The identification strip is proof the reporter can use to demonstrate he submitted a NASA C3RS report.
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9. Are there any conditions under which NASA will reveal my identity?

No. NASA will never reveal the identity of someone making a report.
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10. How does NASA keep my report confidential?

NASA de-identifies all personal and carrier information from a C3RS report so that the identity of the reporting employee or anyone mentioned in the report cannot be determined. Dates, times, and related information, which could be used to infer an identity are either generalized or eliminated. Personal information such as names, locations and other identifying information will be removed and the report's identification strip will be returned to the reporter. This de-identification is completed before report records are provided to your Peer Review Team (PRT), if established for your carrier.
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11. What is the PRT and do they see my report?

The PRT is the Peer Review Team that your company may have if your carrier’s IMOU establishes a PRT. The PRT consists of local representatives from the carrier and FRA at the carrier site. The PRT receives your de-identified report for review. The PRT may recommend corrective actions to the carrier after their independent analysis of the report.
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12. What is an IMOU?

The Implementing Memorandum of Understanding (IMOU) is a document developed for each specific site by FRA, rail carriers, and labor representatives. These IMOUs outline how C3RS works at each site; defines the rights, roles, and responsibilities of all stakeholders; and describes how the system will operate.
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13. Who receives waivers from carrier discipline and FRA enforcement?

  • Carrier employees and managers who are covered by an IMOU can participate in NASA C3RS and receive a waiver from carrier discipline and FRA enforcement.
  • Coworkers whose names you list on your report to NASA.
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14. Are there conditions for receiving waivers?

The employee must submit the report to NASA within the timeline specified in their carrier’s IMOU. Most current IMOUs require three calendar days from the date of the incident, not counting weekends and Federal Holidays. For further conditions for receiving waivers please see a member of your carrier’s C3RS Peer Review Team (PRT) or refer to your carrier's governing IMOU.
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15. What close call events are outside the scope of C3RS?

For further information on what is outside the scope of NASA C3RS please see a member of your carrier’s C3RS Peer Review Team (PRT) or refer to your company's governing IMOU.
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16. Does C3RS replace or modify other safety processes currently operating at your carrier?

No. NASA C3RS is in addition and complimentary to existing safety programs currently at your carrier.
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