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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-15-035
Details
Synopsis: On August 7, 2014, about 03:10 a.m. Pacific daylight time, Union Pacific Railroad (UP) local train LUM41-06 traveled into a Ken’s Foods, Inc., warehouse, ran through the end-of-track bumping post, and then collided with the inside wall while switching cars.1 The train consisted of 3locomotives and 14 loaded tank cars. Three Ken’s Foods employees were in the warehouse at the time. Estimated damages were $188,000 and there were no injuries.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: Enhance your medical standards by identifying a list of medical conditions that disqualify employees for safety-sensitive positions because of the conditions’ potential for negatively affecting rail safety.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Mode: Railroad
Location: Arden, NV, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA14FR010
Accident Reports: ​Railroad Accident Brief: Locomotive Engineer Has Seizure While Operating Train
Report #: RAB-15-07
Accident Date: 8/7/2014
Issue Date: 11/3/2015
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 9/5/2018
Response: You wrote that you would address other medical conditions once you had addressed sleep apnea, but you have now determined that you will not address OSA with a regulation. Please tell us how you plan to address other medical conditions associated with accidents. Pending action to address these recommendations, Safety Recommendations R-15-35 through -37 are classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/23/2016
Response: -From Sarah E. Feinberg, Administrator: FRA is addressing railroad employees' medical fitness for duty issues sequentially based on NTSB accident investigations of railroad accidents. For example, on March 10, 2016, FRA, with the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding obstructive sleep apnea. In this ANPRM, FRA and FMC SA request data and information concerning the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation and on its potential consequences for the safety of rail and highway transportation. FMC SA and FRA (collectively "the Agencies") also request information on potential costs and benefits from regulatory actions that address the safety risks associated with motor carrier and rail transportation workers in safety sensitive positions who have OSA. Once FRA has fully considered how to address obstructive sleep apnea, FRA will next consider strategies to address other medical conditions that are also contributing causes to accidents.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/4/2016
Response: -Robert C. Lauby, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Federal Railroad Administration: Thank you for your November 3, 2015, letter to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regarding the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Safety Recommendations R-15-35 through R-15-37. FRA understands that the NTSB issued these recommendations as a result of the NTSB's investigation of an accident in which Union Pacific Railroad's local Train LUM41-06 traveled into a Ken's Foods' warehouse, ran through the end-of-track bumping post, and subsequently collided with the inside wall while switching cars in Arden, Nevada, on August 7, 2014. Title 49 U.S.C. Section 1135 states, "the Secretary [of Transportation] shall give to the [NTSB] a formal written response to each recommendation not later than 90 days after receiving the recommendation." This letter acknowledges receipt of these recommendations to FRA. FRA staff is currently gathering information and conducting research to enable FRA to more fully address these recommendations. FRA takes these recommendations very seriously and assures the NTSB that a complete and thorough investigation will be reflected in its final response.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 11/3/2015
Response: On October 28, 2015,the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) adopted its report concerning the August 7, 2014,accident in which Union Pacific Railroad local train LUM41-06 traveled into a Ken’s Foods, Inc., warehouse, ran through the end-of-track bumping post, and then collided with the inside wall while switching cars.1 Additional information about this accident and the resulting recommendations may be found in the report of the investigation, which can be accessed at our website, http://www.ntsb.gov,under report number RAB-15/07. 1 National Transportation Safety Board, Locomotive Engineer Has Seizure While Operating Train, Arden, As a result of this investigation, we issued five new recommendations, including two to Union Pacific Railroad and the following three recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration: R-15-35 Enhance your medical standards by identifying a list of medical conditions that disqualify employees for safety-sensitive positions because of the conditions’ potential for negatively affecting rail safety. R-15-36 Enhance your medical standards by identifying a list of medications whose use disqualifies employees for safety-sensitive positions because of the medications’ potential for negatively affecting rail safety. R-15-37 Once disqualifying medical conditions and medications have been identified, develop specific criteria (such as standards for medical test results) that may allow employees who have been disqualified but have been determined by a subsequent, individualized assessment to pose no increased danger to rail safety to obtain a medical certification. We also reiterated one previously issued recommendation to the Federal Railroad Administration: R-13-21 Develop medical certification regulations for employees in safety-sensitive positions that include, at a minimum, (1) a complete medical history that includes specific screening for sleep disorders, a review of current medications, and a thorough physical examination; (2) standardization of testing protocols across the industry; and (3) centralized oversight of certification decisions for employees who fail initial testing; and consider requiring that medical examinations be performed by those with specific training and certification in evaluating medication use and health issues related to occupational safety on railroads. Chairman HART, Vice Chairman DINH-ZARR, and Members SUMWALT and WEENER concurred in these recommendations. The NTSB is vitally interested in these recommendations because they are designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90days detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement them. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendations by number. We encourage you to submit your response electronically to correspondence@ntsb.gov.