May 20, 2021

TSB reassesses outstanding safety recommendations


(Photo: Kathy Fox, Chair, TSB)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) on May 13 released its annual reassessment of responses to 62 of its outstanding safety recommendations in the aviation, marine, and rail sectors – with currently no outstanding recommendations in the pipeline sector.

TSB explains these reassessments show some progress across Canada’s transportation system with responses to 12 recommendations receiving the highest rating of Fully Satisfactory: five in aviation, four in marine and three in rail. This brings the total of TSB recommendations assessed as Fully Satisfactory to 84.5%, up from 82.9% in 2020.

TSB notes, however, there has been minimal movement on some key safety issues across all three sectors, which continues to raise concerns. “Each year, the TSB reassesses outstanding recommendations as part of its ongoing efforts to urge industry and regulators to address systemic problems that pose a serious safety risk to Canada’s transportation system,” explains Kathy Fox, chair, TSB. “We want to see change agents, especially regulators, take action on the safety issues identified in our investigations.”

Canada’s aviation sector showed improvement, explains TSB, with 57% of the reassessed recommendations receiving one of the two highest ratings of Fully Satisfactory or Satisfactory Intent. Of the five aviation recommendations that were closed as Fully Satisfactory in 2021, four were issued in 2016 as part of TSB investigation A13H0001 into the fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76A helicopter in Moosonee, Ontario. These four recommendations all touch on issues related to emergency locator transmitters.

The TSB board, however, notes additional actions are required in response to some recommendations. Among those are Recommendation A13-03, which calls for Transport Canada (TC) to require that all seaplanes in commercial service certificated for nine or fewer passengers be fitted with seatbelts that include shoulder harnesses on all passenger seats.

TSB also points to Recommendation A15-02, calling on TC to work with industry to develop age- and size-appropriate child restraint systems for infants and young children travelling on commercial aircraft, and mandate their use to provide an equivalent level of safety compared to adults.