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The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and the Federal Railroad Administration yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with local labor unions to implement the "confidential close call reporting system" (C3RS).The system will enable SEPTA railroad conductors and engineers to anonymously report "near misses" and unsafe conditions without fear of retaliation, SEPTA officials said in a press release. Several other U.S. railroads also have implemented the program, including Metra, MTA Metro-North Railroad, Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and Strasburg Railroad.Under the system, workers can submit a safety problem or close call online or through U.S. mail to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which acts as an independent third-party federal agency. NASA gathers and analyzes the data, removes employees' names and contact information and returns the reports to a peer review team of SEPTA managers, the unions and the FRA."As a C3RS site, we will be made aware of situations that we might not have been previously alerted to so that we can take action to prevent accidents and protect our employees and passengers," said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel.
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