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NTSB Responds to Spike in Track Worker Deaths

Destiny Baker2 years ago

According to ABC News, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that some federal workplace safety standards defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should be extended to cover railroad workers.

NTSB Investigates Track Worker Deaths

Last year, the NTSB recorded a total of 15 railroad worker deaths, marking a sharp increase from the eight deaths recorded in 2012 and five deaths recorded in 2011.

Seven of the worker deaths occurred when the workers were hit by trains while the other deaths were the result of falls, electrocution, environmental hazards, struck-by object, and heat stroke. Deaths attributed to derailments and collisions were not included in the final count.

 Further, the NTSB found that differences between regulations enforced by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and OSHA can be confusing to railroad workers and those investigating instances of injury.

NTSB Recommends New Regulations

In total, 15 recommendations relating to OSHA were made by the NTSB with the goal of improving railroad worker safety.

Additionally, the NTSB is recommending that the FRA revise its national inspection program with a focus on “hazard recognition.” The NTSB is also requesting that unions be included in railroad accident investigations.

A vote on adopting the new regulations is scheduled for Wednesday.

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