IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

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Preventing Negative Psychological Effects in Locomotive Engineers and Train Conductors


Preventing Negative Psychological Effects in Locomotive Engineers and Train Conductors

Thanks to work done by researcher Cécile Bardon and her team at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), we know that it is possible to provide better support to employees who are involved in a critical incident and to reduce the consequences of such incidents. The study, whose results were published in 2018, identified the best practices for applying CI management and support protocols in the railway industry.

Further to this study, a document was produced to raise managers’ awareness of the issues involved in critical incidents and to assist them in handling such incidents and supporting employees.

This awareness and information document emphasizes the importance of critical incident management protocols. When all the workplace actors know the protocol and apply it systematically, it is easier to prevent traumatic reactions or promote recovery from them. The main components of this process are the following:

  • Drafting the protocol;
  • Taking charge at the time of the accident;
  • Providing support after the critical incident.

Good preparation means clearly defining and addressing employees’ and managers’ needs and expectations when faced with a critical incident, as well as the roles of the key actors, notably by offering support and training.