July 24, 2014

FRA to fine railroad for safety violations

WASHINGTON — Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) faces a fine from the FRA for alleged failure to report an injury and for underreporting of days lost by an injured employee and failure to maintain complete and timely records of injuries to other employees, says the FRA.

“These latest findings from the FRA confirm a disturbing trend that began to emerge more than a year ago,” said UTU Illinois Legislative Director Robert W. Guy. “They suggest a deteriorating safety atmosphere at TRRA. The railroad has now been cited for safety violations four times within a year, including this latest citation.”

Guy advised TRRA employees to stay alert for safety hazards and to report to the local immediately any effort by TRRA management to subvert the operating rules or FRA-mandated safety practices. “The key is to report what you see to your local and let the Illinois Legislative Board follow up with the appropriate enforcement agencies,” Guy said. “Do not be insubordinate or refuse to carry out orders.

“Once you have carried out your orders, however, do your best to remember the time, date and location of any unsafe practices that you witnessed or participated in, and be sure to provide the local with the name of the supervisor who directed you to work in an unsafe manner or permitted a violation of the federal reporting laws. The union will take it from there, and as the FRA’s latest letter proves, when our members act, the union gets results.”