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2/10/2005



Rail News: Labor

FRA first: No MOW worker or contractor deaths to report from previous year



For the first time since the Federal Railroad Administration issued roadway worker protection (RWP) rules in 1997, no U.S. railroad maintenance-of-way (MOW) employee or engineering contractor was killed in a calendar year by a moving rail car, locomotive or piece of machinery.

The FRA recently reported zero roadway worker fatalities in 2004 compared with five in 2003, three in both 2002 and 2001, and two in 2000. The statistics don't include MOW fatalities in non-RWP areas, such as bridges and highways, or deaths caused by falls from equipment or natural causes.

The administration also reported the average number of roadway worker fatalities between 1997 and 2004 dropped to 2.5 compared with a 4.81 average between 1986 and 1996.

Providing minimum safety standards for roadway employees working on or near tracks, the RWP rules are designed to safeguard MOW workers from dangers associated with moving trains and machinery. Since the FRA issued the rules, the number of severe engineering employee injuries also has declined nationwide, according to a prepared statement.


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