FTA proposes safety standards for rail workers

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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is proposing mandatory minimum standards to protect rail track worker.

The agency is seeking feedback through May 24 from transit agencies, State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOAs), unions, and the public on the level of participation that safety committees can have in the proposed rule making.

Under the proposed rule, transit agencies would be required to implement comprehensive training for workers, report unsafe acts and conditions, and create a protection program for employees who work on or around tracks.

Roadway Worker Protection (RWP) Programs would be required to be consistent with federal and state safety requirements and would have minimum program elements such as job safety briefings, lone worker protection, and good faith safety challenges.

Rail transit agencies would be required to document RWP programs in a manual that includes a track access guide and implement a RWP training program for workers responsible for on-track safety.

SSOAs also would be required to review and approve worker protection program elements, monitor implementation, and conduct annual audits.

Twenty-two workers have been killed and 120 workers have been seriously injured in rail transit roadway safety incidents from Jan. 1, 2008, and Oct. 31, 2022, according to data reported in the National Transit Database.