On February 7, 2012, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a proposal to require railroads to train and qualify workers in occupations involving safety on existing federal railroad laws, orders, and regulations.
"Safety is our highest priority and we will continue to work to create a safer operating environment for employees, passengers, and communities," LaHood stated. "We have made dramatic progress in improving safety, but there is always more we can do to reduce incidents."
The rule would require railroads or contractors to develop a training program based on the qualifications of each safety-related employee, and then submit that program for approval by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
FRA Administrator Joseph C. Szabo stated that these training programs can reduce the number of accidents, "particularly those caused by human factors, which account for the vast majority of reportable accidents," every year.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), slips, trips, and falls, struck by, and collisions account for a high rate of injuries among railway workers. In addition to reducing possible hazards, help protect workers by providing safety products, including work gloves, hard hats, eye protection, slip resistant footwear, ear plugs, and high visibility safety vests.