FRA proposes new rail safety rule

Written by Douglas John Bowen

The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that it says will "require railroads to train and qualify employees in safety-related positions on federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders."

“The proposed rule would require each railroad or contractor with safety-related railroad employees to develop a training program designating the qualifications of each employee and them submit that program for Federal Railroad Administration approval,” said the agency. “Employers would conduct periodic oversight of their own employees to determine compliance and conduct annual written reviews of their training programs to close performance gaps.’

FRA said the proposed rule is a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

“Well-designed training programs have the potential to further reduce risk in the railroad environment,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “We believe that better training can reduce the number of accidents, particularly those caused by human factors, which account for the vast majority of reportable accidents each year.”