FRA issues safety advisory for rolling equipment

October 12, 2011

Washington – The Federal Railroad Administration on Oct. 11 issued a safety advisory (.pdf file) for railroad employees who work between railcars.

In the past 12 weeks, three workers have been fatally injured by rolling equipment while performing switching operations. Additionally, two similar deaths occurred in the past two years.

FRA attributed the recent fatalities to a combination of safety procedure error, inadequate employee situational awareness and lack of managerial oversight for safety practices. In the advisory, FRA recommends railroad workers and supervisors:

  • Review all applicable safety rules and procedures when working between rolling equipment.
  • Establish a notification communication system for workers who need to enter between rolling equipment.
  • Secure equipment when adjusting or applying knuckles, drawbars or end-of-train devices, as recommended by the Switching Operations Fatality Analysis working group.
  • Cultivate pro-safety attitudes and responsibility among workers.
  • Promote peer accountability and safety compliance.