Good and Evil on the Rail Case Study
Sanchez’s love for trains since his early teenage days led him to his career as a Locomotive Engineer in Metrolink commuter rail system. He loved his job, had a few disciplinary issues here and there; absences and failure to follow rules set mostly in the use of his cell phone during operation hours. On September 12, 2008, a day like any other, he was up ready for his daily routine. On this day, Sanchez was chatting with a teenage rail fan that he planned on sneaking in later in the day. He started by disobeying protocol; he passed a yellow rail light past Chatsworth station failing to notify the dispatcher and call out. After passing this station, he made a critical mistake. As always, he doesn’t obey some of the rail light signals, seeing a red light ahead signaling him to STOP, he fails to signal dispatch on signal whilst not stopping. His train passed over a power switch turned meant for an oncoming freight train; the two trains collided, killing 25 people, leaving many injured.
An investigation had to be done by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTBS). Its aim was to investigate transport accidents and make safety recommendations. NTBS did a detailed analysis of the accident also focusing on the management of Metrolink. Sanchez was hired and being supervised by Connex who ran the trains owned by Metrolink but, overall responsibility for the operations was undertaken by Metrolink themselves. The efficiency tests on every railroad were done by Connex. Their role was to observe the trains, monitor the radio traffic, and the analysis of data collected recording devices in locomotives so as to check the employees’ compliance to set rules (Steiner & Steiner, 2011).
With all the tests ever done during Sanchez’s employment by Connex, only a few failures were recorded. In the few recorded incidents he was caught up with, he was only counseled on it and not to be checked back on, on their compliance. For example, in the period when the safety regulations came to effect, Sanchez compliance was tested, a manager arranged someone to call his cellular, and Sanchez lied to have forgotten his cellular in his pocket rather than stowing it away switched off. The manager only counseled him on spot about the policy. The manager never bothered to get arrange other calls to test if he complied. From the later confrontations and being sited to disobey the wayside signals and radioing the Metrolink operations, it is a habit he had. All Connex did was speaking to the accused about the policy, a few observations, and then trusting them to comply again. The Connex Company was supposed to foresee the implementation of the safety policy, but it had a hard time in implementing them; “we run the railroads as Metrolink want,” Top Connex manager (Steiner & Steiner, 2011).
From its findings NTSB might be true on stating the probable cause of the collision between the two trains to have been the inattention Sanchez gave to the...