Rail

FRA issues new reg limiting consecutive hours of service

Posted on August 12, 2011

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule limiting the number of consecutive hours passenger railroad workers can be on the job. The new Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulation will reduce risk and improve safety for the railroad industry, and for the first time, differentiate between freight and passenger service.

Designed to reduce accidents related to fatigue, the final rule applies “fatigue science” to employee work schedules to determine maximum on-duty periods and minimum off-duty periods. The DOT is engaging in a broad initiative to bring scientific data into work scheduling, and the FRA rule is the first rule in that effort to be completed.

Through the use of fatigue modeling tools and data on human alertness factors, this new rule will guide the scheduling of train crews to reduce the likelihood of a hazardous work schedule. This rule recognizes the difference between work during daylight hours and work during nighttime hours when fatigue is most likely to occur. 

The final rule includes:

• Maximum on-duty periods and minimum off-duty periods for passenger train employees including locomotive engineers, and conductors.

• Requirements for railroads to identify schedule-specific risks of fatigue using an approved, scientifically validated, and calibrated bio-mathematical model of human performance and fatigue.

• Requirements for railroads to develop and carry out plans to mitigate fatigue risks before safety may be compromised.

The final rule also requires railroads to submit certain work schedules of their passenger train employees and fatigue mitigation plans to FRA for approval, and to provide fatigue training.

Fatigue management is also a key part of FRA’s Risk Reduction Program — an industry, labor and agency initiative designed to improve safety and build strong safety cultures. It seeks to identify and correct safety risk factors using predictive data beyond the traditional accident and injury data currently used. Recognizing risk indicators before an accident happens provides one of the greatest opportunities for improved safety and performance.

This final rule is authorized by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which, for the first time in history, gives FRA the authority to replace the existing statutory limitations (first enacted in 1907) with a new set of hours of service regulations governing train employees providing passenger rail transportation. The final rule was developed with the assistance of FRA’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the railroad industry, railroad labor and other stakeholder groups.

Click here for the final rule, which will become effective on October 15, 2011.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Alstom debuts world's first hydrogen train entering passenger service

The zero-emission Coradia iLint, which debuted in Lower Saxony, Germany, can reach up to 140 km/h (90 mph).

WMATA announces contracting opportunity for Silver Line extension

Under the agency's plan to "Keep Metro Safe, Reliable and Affordable," the use of competitive contracting is recommended as a way to control operating and maintenance costs

Amtrak Pacifc Surfliner, MLB team up for rail safety awareness

Partners with San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and California Operation Lifesaver to highlight the importance of safety around train tracks.

Zmudzinski to lead national rail systems at WSP

Will lead the firm’s transit and rail systems engineering team and support business development across the U.S.

4 teams submit design-build bids for Foothill Gold Line light rail project

Includes technical approach to completing the design and construction of the project, their management method, and financial bid.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation