Federal Railroad Administration issues safety advisory reminding freight railroad operators, employees about hazards associated with switching operations in response to two recent employee deaths

WASHINGTON , April 8, 2011 (press release) – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Safety Advisory to remind freight railroad operators and their employees about hazards associated with switching operations.

FRA’s Safety Advisory addresses the need to follow federal regulations and railroad operating rules that govern the procedures for leaving rolling equipment in the clear of adjacent tracks. This Safety Advisory is in response to two recent incidents where railroad employees were killed during switching operations.

“Equipment inappropriately left on adjacent tracks is a serious and potentially life threatening matter,” said Joseph C. Szabo, Federal Railroad Administrator. “We can take important steps to increase awareness and stop this dangerous practice.”

The FRA Safety Advisory recommends that railroad companies review the recent incidents with employees and reinstruct them on procedures and rules governing leaving rolling equipment clear of adjacent tracks. It also recommends that railroads review job briefing procedures.

Safety Advisories are issued by FRA and provide guidance and clarification concerning regulatory rail safety requirements and other important safety issues.

FRA’s most vital mission is to promulgate and enforce rail safety regulations. Its Office of Railroad Safety promotes and regulates safety throughout the Nation's railroad industry.

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