Per a newly submitted Congressional bill, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will have the power to regulate railroad worker hours-of-service (HOS) and will provide greater focus on risk reduction to improve safety.
The FRA proposal will replace railroad HOS laws, first enacted in 1907, with comprehensive, scientifically based regulations to address worker fatigue.
Under the proposal, the FRA Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, made up of railroad management, labor representatives and other key stakeholders, will review the issue and develop recommendations on new HOS limits based on current, sound science.
In addition, the FRA will establish risk reduction programs, with emphasis on developing methods to evaluate safety risks to hold railroads more accountable for improving the safety of their own operations.
This will include risk management strategies and implementing plans to eliminate or minimize the opportunity for workers to make errors, which can result in accidents.
A copy of the full legislative proposal can be found at www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/48.