Federal agencies Rail Transportation

FRA lays out requirements for railroads’ fatigue risk management programs

commuter train

Photo: gk-6mt/iStockphoto

Washington — The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a final rule requiring certain railroads to develop and implement a fatigue risk management program as a component of their larger safety risk reduction program.

The final rule, set to go into effect July 13, is part of FRA’s efforts to “improve rail safety continually” and satisfy the statutory mandate of Section 103 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Section 103 requires Class I railroads, railroad carriers with inadequate safety performance, and carriers that provide intercity rail passenger or commuter rail passenger transportation to develop and implement a safety risk reduction program.


FRA defines a fatigue risk management program as a “comprehensive, system-oriented approach to safety in which a railroad determines its fatigue risk by identifying and analyzing applicable hazards and takes actions to mitigate, if not eliminate, that fatigue risk.”

Each covered railroad will be required to prepare a written program plan and submit it to FRA for review and approval no later than July 23, 2023, or within applicable existing timelines for filing a system safety program or risk reduction program. Each fatigue risk management program must include goals, risk analysis, mitigation strategies, evaluation and an implementation plan that does not exceed 36 months.

In addition, covered railroads must review their fatigue risk management program annually and, if necessary, consult with affected employees to update it.

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