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FRA proposes rule to ramp up roadway worker protection procedures


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking targeted at protecting roadway workers from train or equipment movements on an adjacent track.

The proposed rule would require railroads, contractors and roadway workers to adopt and comply with additional on-track safety procedures covering a wider range of operational conditions.  The rule would apply to work groups using certain maintenance equipment and instances when at least one worker is on the ground and the centerline of an adjacent track is 19 feet or less from the centerline of track being worked on.

The FRA also proposes to expand requirements for job safety briefings, training, and recordkeeping to ensure compliance with new procedures.  

Under current rules, roadway workers engaged in a large-scale maintenance or construction project must be provided with adjacent-track safety in the form of a train approach warning. Since May 2004, four rail workers have been killed on a track adjacent to one undergoing maintenance.

The FRA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until Aug. 18.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/21/2008