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2013年9月26日 (木)

JR北海道 安全軽視の企業風土を改めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 26, 2013
JR Hokkaido must immediately get safety awareness back on track
JR北海道 安全軽視の企業風土を改めよ(9月25日付・読売社説)

The latest revelation of Hokkaido Railway Co.’s gross negligence of duty has dealt a crushing blow to public trust in the firm as a public transportation service provider. JR Hokkaido must reflect seriously on its lack of discipline, a task that should be followed by quick efforts to ensure safety comes first in its train services.
 公共輸送機関としての信頼は完全に失墜した。規律の緩みを猛省し、安全最優先の体制構築を急がなければならない。

Track defects have been found at more than 200 spots along some JR Hokkaido lines. These flaws have been left unrectified despite the railway firm’s awareness that these tracks deviate in width and some other respects from standards set by the company.
 JR北海道の路線で、レールの幅などが基準を超えているのに放置されているケースが、200か所以上も確認された。

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is currently conducting a special inspection of JR Hokkaido’s safety preservation system under the Railway Business Law. The investigation was initially scheduled to close on Monday. Alarmed by the discovery of numerous track defects, however, the ministry has extended its inspection period.
 国土交通省は、期間を延長して鉄道事業法に基づく特別保安監査を実施している。

Thorough measures must be taken to determine why the large number of defects have developed, and to ensure such negligence is not repeated.
原因の徹底究明と再発防止を求めたい。

The track defects came to light after a freight train derailed on the JR Hakodate Line last Thursday, which prompted the company to conduct an emergency inspection of tracks in its service areas. JR Hokkaido discovered a large number of defects on side tracks used to park standby trains and main ones on which passenger trains run. The defects include many flaws even on the main tracks.
 今回の問題の発端は、函館線で19日に起きた貨物列車の脱線事故だった。JR北海道が管内の路線について緊急点検を実施したところ、次々と異常が見つかった。客を乗せた列車が走行する本線のレールの不具合も多かった。

JR Hokkaido’s in-house regulations state that if a track is found to deviate in width from the firm’s standards to an impermissible level, such a defect must be repaired within 15 days. Despite this rule, defects discovered at some locations went uncorrected for close to one year.
 JR北海道は、基準を超えた場合、15日以内の補修を内規で定めている。にもかかわらず、1年近く放置されていた地点もある。

The latest scandal indicates that JR Hokkaido has taken no steps to repair track defects despite being aware of such flaws. Where is the railway firm’s sense of duty to transport people in safety? Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga had good reason to decry JR Hokkaido’s conduct as “despicable.”
 異常を把握しながら措置を講じない。安全に輸送するという使命感はどこに行ったのか。菅官房長官が「極めて悪質性がある」と批判したのは、もっともだ。

Latest in long line

Initially, the chief of JR Hokkaido’s construction department said no defect on main tracks would ever be left unrectified because of inspections by workers assigned to such a duty in each of the firm’s service areas and inspectors from the company’s headquarters. His remark revealed that even the JR official responsible for detecting and correcting track defects lacked proper awareness about how safety-control measures were being implemented at his corporation.
 保線管理の責任者である工務部長は当初、本線について、現場と本社の二重のチェックが働いているため異常の放置は起きえない、との認識を示した。
責任者すら社内の安全管理の状況を正しく把握していない実態を露呈させた。

Top management at JR Hokkaido should be sternly brought to task for failing to discover their company’s outrageous negligence for a long time.
 鉄道会社にあるまじき怠慢を見過ごしてきた経営陣の責任も厳しく問われるべきだろう。

In 2011, JR Hokkaido put together an action plan for improving the safety of its train services, shortly after a limited express train derailed and was destroyed by fire along one of its lines. One of the plan’s pillars centered on correcting the firm’s tendency to slight the safety of its train services.
 JR北海道は、2011年の特急列車脱線炎上事故を受け、「安全性向上のための行動計画」を策定した。安全を軽視する企業風土の改革などが柱だった。

However, there seems to be no end to serious incidents involving JR Hokkaido trains, including train fires. On Tuesday, smoke was emitted from a carriage on the Nemuro Line.
 しかし、その後も、列車からの出火など、深刻な事例が後を絶たない。24日にも根室線の車両で発煙トラブルが起きた。

Several days earlier, it came to light that a train driver had damaged a switch on his train’s automatic train stop system after causing the system to improperly function. He did so in an attempt to conceal his mistake.
 自動列車停止装置(ATS)を誤作動させた運転士が、ミスを隠すためにATSのスイッチを壊すという問題も発覚している。

Anyone would be disgusted by all these incidents.
唖然(あぜん)とするばかりだ。

A pressing task facing JR Hokkaido is to reform its organization, given its disgracefully lax discipline.
 緩みきった組織の改革が、JR北海道が取り組まねばならない喫緊の課題である。

The company must fundamentally reexamine its methods for educating employees and hiring new workers. This is essential to make sure safety awareness is instilled in all JR Hokkaido employees. It is also worth considering hiring personnel from outside—for example, from other member companies of the JR Group.
 社員教育や採用のあり方を根本から見直し、安全重視の意識を隅々まで浸透させなければならない。JR他社など外部からの人材登用も検討に値しよう。

It is feared that widespread safety concerns about JR Hokkaido’s train services could lead to fewer visitors to the firm’s service areas, thus adversely affecting the regional economy.
 安全への不安から、観光客の減少と、それに伴う地元経済への影響も懸念される。

A high level of safety must be demanded for the new Shinkansen route that will open between Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate stations in fiscal 2015. There is serious cause for worry about JR Hokkaido’s status quo.
 15年度に新青森―新函館間が開業予定の北海道新幹線では、高水準の安全確保が求められる。JR北海道の現状では心もとない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 25, 2013)
(2013年9月25日01時41分  読売新聞)

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