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Rail News: Labor

FRA-sponsored study targets T&E employees' work/rest patterns


Last month, Foster-Miller Inc. sent hours-of-service surveys to randomly selected Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and United Transportation Union members working in engine or train service.

Similar to previously conducted surveys of train dispatchers, maintenance-of-way employees and signalmen, the Federal Railroad Administration-sponsored survey aims to compile detailed information on workers' hours of service and work/rest schedules.

Selected participants are asked to fill out work/sleep diaries for 14-straight days — including self-assessments of their alertness level five times daily — and complete a brief background survey. Participants who furnish a completed survey will receive a $75 gift certificate to either Home Depot or Sears. Surveys are due July 15.

The purpose of the study is to develop a better understanding of operating crews' work/rest schedules and sleep patterns, and evaluate the relationship between their work schedules and fatigue.

"The data will allow us to identify any fatigue-related problems specific to our crafts," wrote BLET National President Ed Rodzwicz in a letter to members. "Once we have the data, we will be able to work toward reducing the risk of fatigue-related accidents and incidents."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/18/2008