December 23, 2013

NTSB issues 'urgent' recommendations to protect rail workers

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued two "urgent" safety recommendations to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as part of its ongoing investigation into the deaths of two Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) track workers who were struck by a BART train near Walnut Creek, Calif., on October 19.

The recommendations urge the FTA to issue a directive to all rail transit agencies to require redundant protection for railway right-of-way workers, such as positive train control, secondary warning devices, or the use of a shunt — a safety device workers attach to rails that results in approaching trains receiving a stop signal.

The letter to FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff also urges a directive to require transit agencies to review track worker rules and procedures to eliminate any work authorization that depends solely on the track worker to provide protection from trains and moving equipment.

"Having redundant protection measures in place for track workers is not only a best practice but common sense," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "A positive safety culture is not a solo act — everyone needs to look out for each other."

At the time the two track workers were struck and fatally injured, BART had a roadway safety practice called "simple approval," which provided authorization from the BART control center for employees to enter the train roadway with no protection provided other than their own awareness of the situation. Workers were to look out for trains and "provide their own protection and not interfere with mainline/yard operations."

BART has since eliminated the practice.

The investigation into the BART accident is ongoing and no probable cause has been determined.

The letter to Administrator Rogoff references other track worker deaths that the NTSB has investigated, including three fatal events on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority since 2006, another involving fatalities on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and earlier this year a fatal accident involving a track worker for Metro-North Railroad.

"The NTSB believes that all rail transit systems are at risk for roadway worker fatalities and serious injuries," the letter said.

 

deli.cio.us digg it stumble upon newsvine
[ Request More Info about this product / service / company ]


E-NEWSLETTER

Receive the latest Metro E-Newsletters in your inbox!

Join the Metro E-Newsletters and receive the latest news in your e-mail inbox once a week. SIGN UP NOW!

View the latest eNews
Express Tuesday | Express Thursday | University Transit

White Papers

Mass Transit Capital Planning An overview of the world-class best practices for assessing, prioritizing, and funding capital projects to optimize resources and align with the organization’s most critical immediate and long-term goals.

The Benefits of Door-to-Door Service in ADA Complementary Paratransit Many U.S. transit agencies continue to struggle with the quality of ADA service, the costs, and the difficulties encountered in contracting the service, which is the method of choice for a significant majority of agencies. One of the most basic policy decisions an agency must make involves whether to provide door-to-door, or only curb-to-curb service.

Mass transit mobile Wi-Fi & the public sector case study How Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority successfully implemented Wi-Fi on its light rail and bus lines

More white papers


STORE
METRO Magazine - April 2013

METRO Magazine
Here are the Highlight:
  • BRT Survey: Coordination Construction Top Challenges
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cells Gather Steam as Viable Fleet Option
  • Alternative Project Delivery Opens Doors to Innovation
    And much more…
  •  
    DIGITAL EDITION

    The full contents of Metro Magazine on your computer! The digital edition is an exact replica of the print magazine with enhanced search, multimedia and hyperlink features. View the current issue