• May 25, 2017
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    2017 Q1 Signalman's Journal

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  • Fatality Analysis of
    Maintenance-of-Way
    Employees and Signalmen



    Introduction to the FAMES Committee


    The Fatal Accidents Involving Roadway Workers-In-Charge and Lone Workers


    FAMES Safety Alert:
    A comparison of roadway worker fatality data over a span of 21 years (1986–1994 and 1997–2010) indicates that the highest number of roadway worker incidents occur in the 4th Quarter.


    The Importance of Effective On-Track Safety Briefings
    An On-Track Safety Briefing informs roadway workers of their on-track protection at the jobsite and is a vital component of the job briefing. On-Track Safety Briefings and Re-Briefings are interactive discussions intended to provide an opportunity for roadway workers to ask questions, raise any concerns, and verify their understanding of the on-track protection.


    Fatal Accident Patterns — Hours of Day

    Following the implementation of the Roadway Worker Protection (RWP) Rule in 1997, there have been a total of 42 fatal RWP accidents, in which 44 roadway workers have perished, as of January 1, 2012. The FAMES Committee was able to obtain data to analyze 39 fatal RWP accidents, which accounted for 41 of the 44 fatalities. The FAMES Committee analysis is based on the available data.

    Click here to view/download the FAMES Committee analysis


    Safety Alert: Use of Electronic Devices

    The inappropriate use of electronic devices has been linked to accidents and fatalities, both on railroads and highways.

    Electronic devices such as cellular telephones, notebook computers, electronic notepads, etc. are widely used in today’s culture. These devices can enhance railroad safety, operational efficiency, and communication when used appropriately, but may also introduce an element of distraction. Any distraction while performing a safety-critical task can be hazardous.


    Fourth Quarter Safety Alert

    Twenty-one years of data shows 4th Quarter spike in fatal roadway worker incidents
    A comparison of roadway worker fatality data over a span of 21 years (1986–1994 and 1997–2010) indicates that the highest number of roadway worker incidents occur in the 4th Quarter.


    Fatal Striking Accidents with Roadway Maintenance Machines Present

    Following the implementation of the Roadway Worker Protection (RWP) Rule in 1997, there have been a total of 42 fatal RWP accidents, in which 44 roadway workers have perished, as of January 1, 2012. The FAMES Committee was able to obtain data to analyze 39 fatal RWP accidents, which accounted for 41 of the 44 fatalities. The FAMES Committee analysis is based on the available data.


    Fatal Accidents Under Train Approach Warning (Watchman/Lookout)


    Fatalities on Adjacent Tracks


    FAMES — Fourth Quarter Safety Alert

    Twenty-five years of data shows 4th Quarter spike in fatal roadway worker incidents
    A comparison of available roadway worker fatality data over a span of 25 years (1986–1994 and 1997–2012) indicates that the highest number of roadway worker incidents occur in the 4th Quarter.


    Fatalities Involving Roadway Maintenance Machine Strikes

    Since the implementation of the Roadway Worker Protection (RWP) regulations in 1997, there have been too many RWP accidents in which Roadway Workers were killed or injured. To date, FAMES has analyzed 41 Roadway Worker fatalities; 7 involved strikes by Roadway Maintenance Machines (RMMs), which includes hi-rail vehicles.


    Fatalities in Controlled Points/Manual Interlockings


    Safety Alert: Use of Electronic Devices


    Safety Alert: Roadway Worker Good Faith Challenge


    The Importance of Effective On-Track Safety Briefings

    In light of recent fatalities involving roadway workers, the FAMES Committee is reissuing the On-Track Safety Briefings recommendations as a reminder to all roadway workers of their responsibilities and rights when fouling a track. It is imperative that every roadway worker understands what protections are in place before fouling a track and whenever on-track safety protections change. If you don’t understand the protection, ask for clarification; if you don’t think the on-track safety is sufficient, bring it up so it can be discussed and resolved.


    Worker Safety at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings


    Safety on Railroad Bridges
    The FAMES Committee has reviewed the available data from 14 railroad bridge fall accidents, in
    which 12 fatalities and 2 serious injuries occurred. Given that bridge workers constitute a small
    percentage of the railroad worker population, this is a significant number.





    Page Last Updated: May 23, 2017 (12:34:50)
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