Risk factors for railway suicide and countermeasures to reduce the prevalence of railway suicides


Brian Mishara, Cécile Bardon.


We present part of an extensive research programme on railway suicide, its prevention and the support of train drivers. We first analysed railway fatalities in three phases: 1) an assessment of the prevalence of and factors associated with railway suicides and other fatalities in Canada. 2) Comparison of accidental deaths with suicides on the Canadian Railway Network to identify specificities and commonalities. 3) Comparison of Canadian Railway suicide with railway suicide data available from other countries. The goal was to identify specificities of railway suicide in Canada and commonalities with railway suicide in other countries in order to assess the adaptability of suicide prevention measures from other parts of the world to the Canadian context. A sample of 428 suicides and 460 accidents was coded and analysed, covering 10 years of records. We identified physical and psychological factors associated with railway suicides and accidents. We then conducted a thorough review of existing railway suicide prevention practices and all published research on railway suicide prevention. We also contacted major railway companies around the world to identify preventive practices that have not been published. Drawing from both our analysis of the nature of Canadian railway suicides and our review of existing practices we identified three potential intervention strategies whose implementation is feasible in the Canadian context and whose impact could be evaluated within four years. CANADA SUICIDE-COMPLÉTÉ MORTALITÉ TRAIN ACCIDENT PRÉVALENCE ÉPIDÉMIOLOGIE-INTERNATIONALE

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