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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FTA issues safety advisory notice for transit-rail ROW workers


In the wake of the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) recent issuance of two urgent safety recommendations, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Tuesday issued a safety advisory guidance document on transit-rail right-of-way worker protection.

In addition to the "Safety Advisory 14:1 Right-of-Way Worker Protection," the FTA issued a request for information from transit agencies and SSO agencies that will be used to review the nation's transit-rail right-of-way worker safeguards, according to a letter sent to agencies by FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff.

The FTA’' action follows the NTSB's issuance on Dec. 19 of two urgent recommendations to address conditions identified as part of its ongoing investigation into the deaths of two Bay Area Rapid Transit workers on Oct. 19, 2013, in Walnut Creek, Calif. They also reflect the investigations into worker fatalities at transit-rail agencies in New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Houston, and Sacramento, Calif.

"October 2013 was one of the deadliest months on record for the nation's rail transit workers," wrote Rogoff. "Three workers were killed and two were seriously injured in two separate accidents on the rail transit right-of-way. Since 2002, 28 rail transit workers have lost their lives while working to maintain the nation’s rail transit infrastructure."

FTA and U.S. Department of Transportation officials "appreciate" the NTSB's recent findings and efforts to address worker safety, he said.

"Over the last decade, 28 workers have been killed in accidents on the rail transit right-of-way and the systems, rules and procedures put in place to protect transit workers failed each time," wrote Rogoff. "We look forward to working with you to ensure that every transit worker goes home safely at the end of his or her shift."

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