Feds require new safeguards for railroad employees

Feds require new safeguards for railroad employees
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The Federal Railroad Administration issued two final rules on Friday to provide added safeguards for employees who work on or near railroad tracks.

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The set of regulations — which amend an existing rule protecting roadway workers and expand random drug testing for work crews — comes two months after an Amtrak train hit a piece of construction equipment on the tracks near Philadelphia, killing two people.

“Clear communication, multiple layers of safety and a rigorous alcohol and drug testing policy are critical to keep workers along and near tracks — and ultimately passengers and train crews — out of harm’s way,” said Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Lyft sues New York over new driver minimum pay law Lyft confidentially files for IPO MORE in a statement. “These are common sense rules that will help make our railroads safer.”

Under the first new rule, a device will be required on railways to signal to a train’s operator when workers are on an active railroad; any employee serving as the roadway worker in charge will be required to participate in annual training; and job briefings must include information about the accessibility of the roadway worker in charge.
 
The other new rule expands existing alcohol and drug testing requirements to include maintenance of way employees, who maintain and repair the rails.

The expanded worker protection rule goes into effect in April 2017, and the drug-testing regulation takes effect one year after it is published.

“These new rules add another layer of protection for workers who work along and near railroad tracks and will help us reduce preventable worker injuries and fatalities,” said railroad agency Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg.