October 21, 2014

Lullaby and goodnight — if only …

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UTU members hearing about a National Sleep Foundation study just released might be tempted to roll their eyes and ask – depending on craft – “Does ballast contain rip-rap? Do buses have headlights? Do airplanes have wings?” Yet, sometimes, what is as obvious to transportation workers as closed eyelids on a fellow employee isn’t so [...]

FAA announces new pilot fatigue rules

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced new rules aimed at preventing dangerous fatigue among passenger aircraft pilots. The rules do not affect all-cargo aircraft pilots. The new rules are in response to a Colgan Air crash near Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009 that killed 50 people.  Under the new rules: • Flight-duty times would [...]

NTSB: Latest safety recommendations

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board has updated its “Most Wanted” transportation safety improvements. Included are recommendations for improved bus, rail and aviation safety. Following are the NTSB’s comments of interest to UTU members: Fatigue Airplanes, buses and trains are complex machines that require the full attention of the operator, maintenance person and other [...]

Transport-employee fatigue continues to kill

While sleep scientists have established that going to work fatigued is like going to work drunk, there remains a disconnect among those who manage transportation firms. And people are needlessly dying and being seriously injured as a result. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood June 1 criticized his own Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for not sooner [...]

Pay, benefits keys to better bus safety

Calvin Studivant

By Calvin StudivantAlternate vice president, Bus Department Fatigue management was a topic of significant importance earlier this month at a National Transportation Safety Board forum I attended in Washington, D.C. The troubling news from the forum is that non-union bus operators, employed by so-called low-cost carriers, are being forced to work too many hours, with [...]

UTU to Congress: Eliminate fatigue, boost safety

WASHINGTON — The single most important action Congress and the Federal Railroad Administration can take to improve rail safety — especially in the movement of hazardous materials — is to eliminate train-crew fatigue and provide predictable start times for train crews. That was the message delivered April 7 to the House Railroad Subcommittee by UTU [...]

Worker input crucial to reducing rail risks

If a congressionally ordered railroad risk reduction program is to be effective, the Federal Railroad Administration must include railroad employees and their labor unions in the process of evaluating and managing the program. That is the message seven rail labor organizations sent to the FRA Feb. 8 in response to an earlier FRA notice of [...]

UTU rails urged to take survey on sleep, fatigue

An educational website focusing on sleep, sleep disorders and fatigue management is being created in a collaborative effort among the UTU, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the Federal Railroad Administration, sleep medicine experts at Harvard Medical School, and Boston Public Radio station WGBH, which is Public Broadcasting’s largest producer of education  web and [...]

Rail safety concerns voiced by UTU members

Train and engine workers are the eyes and ears of railroads — the first to spot trouble, and the first to suffer when trouble occurs. On railroads, trouble too often means career-ending injuries and death. The UTU Rail Safety Task Force was created by UTU International President Mike Futhey to develop strategies to reduce rail-employee [...]

UTU working to improve airline safety

By UTU Assistant President Arty Martin Fatigue is a serious problem for pilots and flight attendants. Flight attendants additionally are without protections afforded under the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). The UTU, working with the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, as well as the Air Line Pilots Association and the Association of [...]