US rail operator New Jersey Transit has joined the safety pilot programme “Close Call”, becoming the first passenger railroad to do so.

The programme encourages employees to report “close call” incidents without fear of sanction or penalty from the railroad or the federal government.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said they were excited that New Jersey Transit was taking part in the valuable safety programme that had already been proven to reduce injuries and save lives.

“We hope that others will follow suit and strengthen our efforts,” LaHood said.

The incidents reported under the project are being examined to identify the potential risk areas and to develop solutions to minimise their occurrence in the future.

The project sponsored by the US Federal Railroad Administration aims to reduce on-the-job incidents and injuries.