September 19, 2014

DOT announces proposed rules for crude transport

FRA_logo_words

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today released the details of its comprehensive rulemaking proposal to improve the safe transportation of large quantities of flammable materials by rail – particularly crude oil and ethanol – in the form of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and a companion Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). [...]

FRA to issue proposed rule on minimum train crews

FRA_logo_words

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration April 9 announced its intention to issue a proposed rule requiring two-person train crews on crude oil trains and establishing minimum crew size standards for most main line freight and passenger rail operations. The FRA also intends to advance a rulemaking on train securement and [...]

GAO issues report on rail safety

FRA_logo_words

Railroad accidents pose significant safety risks to railroads, their employees, passengers, and the public. FRA oversees safety of the nation’s railroads. In light of three high profile accidents in 2012 involving fatalities or hazardous materials, GAO was asked to review FRA’s oversight processes and the challenges to railroad safety. This report examines (1) the overall [...]

FRA issues safety advisory on speed restrictions

FRA_logo_words

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Dec. 11 issued an industry-wide Safety Advisory to help ensure railroads adhere to federal regulations regarding maximum authorized train speed limits. The advisory contains four recommendations to ensure railroads comply with speed restrictions through appropriate operating policies, procedures and effective implementation. “Safety is our [...]

FRA issues emergency order on train car movement

FRA_logo_words

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) August 2 issued an emergency order and safety advisory to help prevent trains operating on mainline tracks or sidings from moving unintentionally. The FRA’s announcement was made in response to the July 6, 2013, derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, as it awaits additional data [...]

FRA issues advisory on warning system repairs

grade_crossing_web

The Federal Railroad Administration June 3 issued a safety advisory on the importance railroad safety procedures to ensure the safety of the traveling public and railroad employees when highway-rail grade crossing warning systems and wayside signal systems are temporarily removed from service for purposes of testing, inspection, maintenance, or repair. Safety Advisory 2013-04 also notes [...]

FRA issues new report on fatigue

fatigue_thumb

The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a new report on the status of fatigue among railroad industry employees. In 2001, the FRA began examining the fatigue status of safety-critical railroad employees by using logbooks to collect work and sleep data over a period of two weeks from a representative sample of employees in each group. [...]

FRA: Intensive conductor training essential

FRA logo

One of the strongest studies validating the need for two-person crews and intensive training for conductors has come from the Federal Railroad Administration. The conclusion is that the conductor and engineer function as a team, with managing multiple priorities essential to safe train operation – especially with regard to use of positive train control technology [...]

Distractions kill, maim and end careers

FRA logo

Distractions occur everywhere in our daily lives, but when those in safety sensitive positions are distracted on the job, the results too often result in death or career-ending injuries. A collaborative effort among the Federal Railroad Administration, rail labor and carriers has been launched to educate and raise awareness through peer-to-peer programs of the dangers [...]

No defense for violating worker rights

OSHA logo; OSHA

Even when railroads return workers to their jobs with full back pay after wrongly terminating them for suffering a workplace injury, significant monetary sanctions may still be imposed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Case in point is Norfolk Southern, which was ordered to pay damages in excess of $580,000 [...]