Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-14-041
Details
Synopsis: As defined by Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 214.7, roadway worker means any employee of a railroad, or of a contractor to a railroad, whose duties include inspection, construction, maintenance or repair of railroad track, bridges, roadway, signal and communication systems, electric traction systems, roadway facilities or roadway maintenance machinery on or near track or with the potential of fouling a track, and flagmen and watchmen/lookouts as defined in this section. Throughout this special investigation report, the term roadway worker will mean the definition above as well as all engineering employees who are on or near the tracks, regardless of their duties. Railroad and rail transit roadway workers are subject to on-the-job risks and hazards markedly different from those faced by other railroad employees. The jobs of railroad engineers and conductors include risks primarily related to moving trains—derailments, collisions with other trains; the jobs of roadway workers involve hazards that include moving rolling stock and other equipment and vehicles, as well as falls, electrocution, and natural hazards.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION: Revise Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 659 to require all federally funded rail transit properties to comply with 29 CFR Parts 1904, 1910, and 1926.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Railroad
Location:
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA14SR002
Accident Reports:
Report #: SIR-14-03
Accident Date: 7/17/2014
Issue Date: 10/22/2014
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FTA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FTA
Date: 5/8/2017
Response: We are encouraged that you are collaborating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to improve the safety of public transportation agency employees. We are aware that your master agreement requires all recipients of FTA funds to comply with OSHA’s safety and health regulations, and that the master agreement is incorporated by reference into each grant that you award. However, we point out that Safety Recommendation R-14-41 is directed not only at new construction, but also at operations and maintenance. We are not implying that the FTA enforce an OSHA rule, as you state in your letter; rather, we are asking that you proceed with a clear plan of action that outlines the regulatory changes needed so that 49 CFR 659 can be revised to require all federally funded rail transit properties to comply with 29 CFR Parts 1904, 1910, and 1926. Pending completion of the recommended revisions to 49 CFR 659, Safety Recommendation R 14 41 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FTA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/28/2017
Response: -From Matthew J. Welbes: To reiterate, 1) 29 CFR Part 1904 is OSHA's rule for recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses; 2) 29 CFR Part 1910 is the codification of OSHA's occupational safety and health standards; and 3) 29 CFR Part 1926 is the codification of OSHA's safety and health regulations for construction. As a matter of law, only OSHA or a State authorized by OSHA can enforce OSHA regulations. The FT A does not have jurisdiction to enforce an OSHA rule. The FTA's Master Agreement requires that grant recipients must comply with Parts 1904, 1910 and 1926. As such, compliance with these OSHA regulations is a condition of FTA financial assistance. In March 2016, the FTA issued a new rule for State Safety Oversight (SSO) of rail fixed guideway public transportation systems (RFGPTS), codified at 49 CFR Part 674, and by law, the SSO rule at 49 CFR Part 659 will be rescinded no later than March 2019. Given that the SSO rules apply to RFGPTS only, not bus systems or other non-rail modes of public transportation, we did not believe it was appropriate to address OSHA rules solely in the context of FTA's SSO program. Rather, from our vantage, all FT A grant recipients that own or operate any mode of public transportation should address the safety of their employees as part of their public transportation agency safety plans, which are mandated by statute, 49 U.S.C. § 5329(d). The FTA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for public transportation agency safety plans in 2016, and currently is working to finalize that rule. Additionally, the FTA and OSHA discussed these matters at length, and our two agencies are committed to coordinating regularly with one another on matters of mutual concern regarding the safety of employees of public transportation agencies. We consider that the actions taken by FTA meet the intent of Recommendation R-14-041, and request that the Board close Recommendation R-14-041.

From: NTSB
To: FTA
Date: 9/3/2015
Response: We are aware that your Master Agreement requires all recipients of FTA funds to comply with OSHA’s Safety and Health Regulations and that the Master Agreement is incorporated by reference into each grant that you award. However, we point out that this recommendation is directed not only at new construction, but also at operations and maintenance. Pending completion of the recommended revisions to 49 CFR 659, Safety Recommendation R 14 41 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FTA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/20/2015
Response: -From Therese W. McMillan, Acting Administrator: Please know that as a longstanding requirement, § 28 of the FTA Master Agreement requires every recipient of FT A funds-both rail and rubber tire operators to comply with OSHA' s Safety and Health Regulations for Construction at 49 C.F.R. Part 1926. The FT A Master Agreement is incorporated by reference into every grant award by FTA. We will engage OSHA to discuss the applicability of the OSHA rules at 49 C.F.R. Part 1904 (Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses) and 49 C.F.R. Part 1910 (Occupational Safety and Health Standards) to public transportation agencies that receive FT A grant funds, and take action, as appropriate, once we have received guidance from OSHA.