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2014年1月23日 (木)

JR北海道 安全重視への体質改善を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 22, 2014
JR Hokkaido should go back to basics of ‘safety first’
JR北海道 安全重視への体質改善を急げ(1月22日付・読売社説)

Hokkaido Railway Co. must take to heart the recent orders issued by the transport ministry over a series of scandals involving the company, which included the falsification of track inspection data. It is essential that the railway overcome its habit of undervaluing safety.
 保線データ改ざんなどの不祥事が続くJR北海道は、命令を重く受け止め、安全軽視の体質を一掃せねばならない。

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry issued a supervision order based on the JR companies law regarding the incidents to JR Hokkaido on Tuesday. The ministry also ordered the company to improve its operations based on the Railway Business Law, and demanded that Makoto Toyota, chief of the railway’s operations headquarters, be removed as safety management chief.
 国土交通省がJR北海道に対し、JR会社法に基づく監督命令と、鉄道事業法の事業改善命令を通知した。鉄道事業本部長を安全統括管理者から解任することも命じている。

The transport ministry has never before issued a supervision order to a railway company. It was also the first time the ministry has ordered a railway to dismiss a safety management chief.
 鉄道会社に対する監督命令と解任命令は初めてだ。JR北海道は2011年の特急列車脱線炎上事故でも事業改善命令を受けた。

In addition, no other company has received two operation improvement orders. JR Hokkaido received its first order over a derailment and fire involving a limited express train in 2011.
再度の改善命令も、前例はない。

The top priority of railway companies should be passenger safety. JR Hokkaido, which operates in an area with difficult climate conditions, needs to pursue this goal with meticulous care. We believe the transport ministry had no choice but to issue these unprecedented orders to reform an organization with such slipshod safety measures.
 鉄道会社で最も重視すべきは安全の確保である。厳しい気象条件の下で運行するJR北海道には、なおのこと徹底が求められる。安全対策がずさんな組織を立て直すには、異例の命令を発する必要があったと言える。

The transport ministry is also considering bringing criminal charges against JR Hokkaido over the falsification of track inspection data. We believe such action is necessary to uncover exactly what happened in the incident.
 改ざんについて、国交省は刑事告発を検討している。実態の徹底解明に避けて通れない。

JR Hokkaido President Makoto Nojima said at a press conference that the company is in a “critical situation.”
“We will make utmost efforts to rebuild a safe railway system,” Nojima said.
 JR北海道の野島誠社長は記者会見で、「危機的状況にある。安全な鉄道の再構築に向けて全力で取り組む」と述べた。

We urge JR Hokkaido to undertake these reforms with a determination to start over from scratch.
一から出直す覚悟で改革に臨むべきだ。

Passengers betrayed

The transport ministry’s orders came out of its special safety inspection. During the probe, many workers at sections where data falsification was confirmed said falsification had become the norm. In many cases the practice was passed down from predecessors. Some said they were told to do so by superiors.
 一連の命令は、国交省による特別保安監査の結果に基づく。改ざんが確認された部署の多くの社員は、監査の過程で「前任者からの引き継ぎなどで改ざんが慣例化していた」と語った。上司の指示があったとの証言もある。

According to an in-house investigation by JR Hokkaido, data falsification was found at 33 of the 44 sections in charge of track inspections. In total, 75 employees, including top officials, were reprimanded, including a disciplinary dismissal. The extent of the malpractice is appalling.
 JR北海道の社内調査では、保線を担当する44部署のうち33部署で改ざんを行っていたことが分かった。計75人の役員、社員が、懲戒解雇を含む処分を受けた。不正の蔓延(まんえん)に驚くばかりだ。

Regarding a freight train derailment in September last year, falsified data was even reported to the Japan Transport Safety Board, a government organ that investigates the cause of accidents. If an accident’s true cause remains unknown, it is difficult to prevent similar accidents. The data falsification by JR Hokkaido is a clear and unforgivable betrayal of its passengers and other users.
 昨年9月の貨物列車脱線事故では、虚偽のデータが、原因を調査する国の運輸安全委員会にも報告された。原因が正しく解明されなければ、再発防止策も講じられない。改ざんは利用者への許し難い背信行為である。

In its orders, the transport ministry pointed out problematic habits at JR Hokkaido, such as a lack of safety awareness. It also indicated a lack of interest at JR Hokkaido’s main office about what was happening on the front lines of day-to-day train operations.
 JR北海道の体質として、国交省は命令の理由の中で安全意識の欠如に加え、現場の実態に対する本社の関心の薄さを指摘した。

It is essential that JR Hokkaido rebuilds its safety control system so it encompasses all departments and sections, from management and administrative sections to those working on the ground. The company must also review its employee training system.
 経営陣、管理部門から現場まで、全社的に安全管理体制を再構築することが肝要だ。社員教育の見直しも欠かせない。

The transport ministry, which is charged with supervising the company, should also take part in reforming the railway company in a responsible manner.
 監督権を持つ国交省も、JR北海道の改革に責任を持って取り組まねばならない。

The labor unions of JR Hokkaido are powerful, and observers have pointed out that this is part of the reason for the distance between the people working on the front lines and those in managerial positions. Although the ministry did not mention the labor union problem in its recent orders, we believe the ministry needs to continue studying this problem.
 JR北海道では労働組合が強い影響力を持ち、それが管理職と現場を隔てる一因になっているとの指摘もある。国交省は今回、労組の問題に触れていない。引き続き検証が必要だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 22, 2014)
(2014年1月22日01時33分  読売新聞)

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