BNSF Contractor Orientation Course 2012
Section Three
This course can be duplicated for student handouts.

Section Three

Roadway Worker Protection/On-Track Safety

 

 

Roadway Worker Protection/On-Track Safety

The FRA Roadway Worker Protection Standards became effective for Class I railroads and their contractors on March 15, 1997.  

BNSF published corresponding on-track safety requirements that became effective at BNSF -including BNSF Engineering contractor operations - on August 1, 1996.  

To be pro-active, BNSF elected to implement an on-track safety program in advance of the final publication of the FRA Roadway Worker Protection Standards. 

1.The terms On-Track Safety and Roadway Worker Protection are used interchangeably.  

 

2. The FRA Roadway Worker Protection Standards were developed to prevent accidents and injuries as a result of personnel being struck by trains and other on-track equipment.  

 

3. For the purpose of these requirements, all Engineering contractors working within the 25 foot from track centerline, are being considered as Roadway Workers. This is a conservative approach.

 

4. Engineering contractors working within 25’ of track centerline will have their on-track safety strategy determined by the BNSF project representative, but may offer input. When a contractor is working with a BNSF Maintenance of Way Rules (MWOR) qualified BNSF employee serving as a flagger or lookout the BNSF flagger or lookout will have readily available all applicable rules, timetables and other required documents.

 

5. Some contractors may have their own FRA approved Roadway Worker Protection program. In such cases the contractor needs to verify if with the BNSF project representative that their program requirements do not conflict with BNSF requirements. A copy of this approved program would need to be readily available to contractor work groups.

 

6. The responsible BNSF project representative may set supplemental requirements.

  

7. Unless specified otherwise in contract language, affected contractors working at BNSF are responsible for  providing on-track safety training for their affected employees on an annual basis.   This training is provided by or through the contractor.

 

The FRA Roadway Worker Protection Standards were developed to prevent accidents and injuries as a result of personnel being struck by trains and other on-track equipment.  

 

Unless specified otherwise in contract language, affected contractors working at BNSF are responsible for developing and implementing an on-track safety program. Implementation would include providing on-track safety training for their affected employees on an annual basis.  

 

The safety action plan of affected contractors needs to document that they have an FRA approved roadway worker protection program or have elected to adopt the BNSF program. The safety action plan of affected contractors also needs to indicate that affected employees have received on-track safety training.

 

Key distances:

 

·Workers or equipment are foul of the track when closer then 4 feet to the nearest rail of a main track/controlled siding/other track.

·         Contractors need specific authorization from their BNSF project representative to work within 25 feet of track centerline.

 

Contractors working within 25 feet of track centerline:

·         have specific authorization from the BNSF project representative to be in this work zone;

·          wear ANSI Level II or III orange, retro-reflective workwear (see Section 1); and,

·         work with the responsible BNSF project representative to develop a project specific strategy for addressing on-track safety (examples of options upcoming).

 

Notes:

 

·         The use of hardhats, armbands, belts, or gloves with orange backing alone to meet the high visibility retro-reflective requirements is not acceptable.

 

 

 

Trains and engines are required to sound the whistle and ring the bell when approaching roadway workers - as identified by orange, retro-reflective workwear - who are on or near the track.  

On-Track Safety Strategy Options

Working Under Authority

 

Where contractor personnel or equipment may foul the track, and individual train detection is not appropriate a BNSF flagger will be present. Track authority will be obtained through the flagger. 

 

Examples of other contractor operations that will require authority and a flagger: 

 

·horizontal boring below the track structure, as an operation failure could result in

humping of the track; 

 

·use of cranes where boom swing or tipping of equipment would result  in fouling the track;

 

·material handling operations such as some pole line removal operations, where

material could fall and foul track

 

When a work group has a form of authority in place, train crews are aware of the work group's presence and location. The train crew needs to contact the BNSF employee-in-charge and receive permission to pass through the section of track covered by the authority.

 

There may be other situations where a BNSF project representative b> may require a BNSF flagger include:

·         large numbers of contractor personnel working within the 25 foot from track centerline zone, though not required to work foul of track

 

· a large concentration of contractor rubber-tired equipment working within the 25 foot from track centerline zone, though not required to work foul of track;

 

· the responsible BNSF project representative has minimal or no previous work experience with the contractor working within the 25 foot from track centerline zone;

 

· concerns with high track speeds and/or limited sight distance;.

 

*    Some contractors through written agreement, and after having successfully completed

      BNSF Maintenance of Way Rules training, have the ability to serve in BNSF MWOR

      qualified positions.

1.       In some cases a flagger may be required or otherwise used for a portion of a project with other options for on-track safety selected for the balance of a project.

2.       BNSF flaggers are responsible for the on-track safety aspects of the work, as opposed to the overall operation.

The Flagger  

·obtains track authority* or provides protection;

·establishes the warning method to notify personnel of the need to clear for

trains/on-track equipment;

·notifies personnel when to occupy, clear and re-occupy the track and adjacent

work area;

·identifies the place(s) of safety where personnel are to go to when clearing the

track for traffic; and,

·conducts job safety briefings to cover the aforementioned information.

 

Types of Authority

Some forms of authority are more commonly used than others, some are rarely used. Track Bulletin Form B is the form of authority most commonly used in conjunction with projects involving contractors.

· Restricted Limits

·Block Register Territory

·Track Permit

·Track and Time

·Train Location Lineup

·Track-Car Operator Lineup

·Track Warrant

·Track Bulletin Form B

·Occupancy Control System

 

 To be discussed in the job safety briefing conducted by the flagger, as applicable:

·designation of employee-in-charge

·method of on-track safety*

·limits of authority (time duration, milepost-milepost) *

·tracks that may be fouled

·control of movements on adjacent tracks  

·procedure for on-track safety on adjacent tracks

·means of providing a warning to clear the track and adjacent work area

·identification of the place(s) of safety

·designated work zones around machines

·distances to be maintained between machines when working and traveling  

* Record this information and carry on-person. Be able to identify the employee-in-charge (EIC).

Work equipment spacing

·         300 feet when traveling

·         50 feet when working *

·         50 feet when bunched at crossings *

 

* This distance may be reduced when having a good reason, and as covered in your job safety briefing. This exemption is not to be used on a routine basis. 

The work zone extends 15 feet longitudinally to the front and rear of on-track work equipment. The safe working zone to the sides of on-track work equipment varies based on movements of machine parts. A job safety briefing needs to be conducted with the machine operator prior to entering this work zone.

Remember, that in addition to on-track safety issues, job safety briefings need to cover other aspects of the work being performed and emergency preparedness issues.

Follow-up job safety briefings need to be conducted when conditions or procedures change, or the method of on-track safety is changed, extended, or to be released.  

 

 

Individual Train Detection

Individual train detection may be used when:

·performing routine inspections or minor work when: the work does not affect the movement of trains - create the potential for derail; and

·trains can be visually detected moving at maximum timetable speed; and

·the ability to see is not impaired; and 

·the ability to hear is not impaired *

* When using individual train detection, power tools may be used on other than main track.

Train crews are not aware of work group locations when individual train detection is used.

                                                      A. Lookouts

During the job safety briefing the BNSF Maintenance of Way Rules - Qualified lookout, who is qualified in judging distances and has current status in on-track safety training and is equipped with a radio:

·         Identifies the place of safety

·         communicates to workers the method of warning

·         devotes full attention to the detection of trains; and,

·         completes the Statement of On-Track Safety, which is maintained by the lookout on-person.

 

The warning method used by a lookout needs to be:

·         distinctive, clear;

·         non-visual  (A light or flag that is being waved; for example, would not be seen by personnel who may be

       turned and working or walking in the opposite direction.);

·         distinguishable above background noise; and,

·         identified in the job safety briefing

Unless specified in contract language, contractor employees will not serve as lookouts.   

                                                    B. Lone Worker

BNSF Maintenance of Way Rules - Qualified employee who is qualified in judging distances and has current status in on-track safety training and equipped with a radio:

·         Identifies the place of safety

 

·         completes the Statement of On-Track Safety, which is maintained by the lookout on-person.

Unless specified in contract language, contractor employees will not serve as lone workers.  

                                      Statement of On-Track Safety:

SPACE

·  completed by the lookout or lone worker prior to the work group fouling the track;

·         the lookout or lone worker obtains the appropriate timetable and General Order information

       to complete the Statement of On-Track Safety;

·         a copy of the completed Statement of On-Track Safety is maintained with the lookout or lone

       worker.

Notes:

 

      1. The timetables list the maximum allowable track speed. General Orders    provide up-to-date information of conditions that affect train movement.  

 

Workers need to be in their place of safety prior to a train reaching the distance corresponding to the track speed as specified on the form                            Statement of On-Track Safety.  

 

                                         

                                                  Track Protection

 

Switches are:

-          lined against movement, properly tagged, spiked, clamped, or locked;

-          have a red flag/ light with a derail in place.

This is performed by a BNSF Maintenance of Way Rules - Qualified employee, unless specified otherwise in contract language.

Options When Not Working Foul of Track/span>

Where contractor employees are working in the 25 foot from centerline zone, yet will not be fouling the track, BNSF project representatives have some additional options including:

·  Install a construction fence, or the equivalent, to serve as a reminder to contractor personnel not to foul the track. The fence needs to be installed far enough from track that is will not be struck by trains or on-track equipment.

 

·Designate a contractor employee to serve as a lookout to keep his co-workers in the immediate work area and not allow them to approach foul of track. This is not a lookout as defined in the FRA Roadway Worker Protection Standards.

 

·Obtain a commitment from the contractor that the work group will specify in their job safety briefing the need to stay in the immediate work area and not approach foul of track.

 

The FRA's "foul of track" zone has no vertical limit. When involved in the construction of an overpass, for example, and when working above the immediate track area, the same requirements apply as if working "foul of track" at ground/track level. Common sense dictates, however, that when an overpass is complete except for minor tasks, and there is no potential for material, equipment or personnel fouling the track, it is not necessary for workers, upon notification of the approach of a train, to leave the overpass area above the "foul of track" zone and move to a place of safety. The BNSF Project Representative or flagger needs to concur with such a plan, and expectations need to be clearly communicated during the job safety briefings.

 

Other Information

 

While contractors may offer suggestions regarding on-track safety strategies, the BNSF project representative has the absolute final decision. Different BNSF project representatives will not necessarily select the same on-track safety strategy option in like situations.

 

The BNSF project representative is to coordinate with  the management of Intermodal, Hub Center and Mechanical personnel, and contractor representatives to verify that all are aware and in agreement with the on-track safety strategy when Engineering contractors are performing work at these facilities. The BNSF project representative is to advise Intermodal, Hub Center and Mechanical management to communicate this information to affected personnel.

 

As information, when workers are crossing the track perpendicularly  to go from a job-site to a BNSF building or to their vehicle, the FRA Roadway Worker Protection Standards do not apply. It is critical, however, that workers look both ways and ensure verify that the track is clear in both directions. Expect movement on any track, at any time, and in either direction!

 

Workers crossing the track are not to be carrying heavy and/or awkwardly shaped work materials, equipment, or objects which, hinder their smooth movement across the track, or  where - should they drop the item,  - it would  foul the track and create a hazard for trains and on-track equipment.

 

The FRA Roadway Worker Protection Standards require that operators of on-track equipment be: 

·         Trained and certified as competent to operate on-track equipment.

·         Operators are to be familiar with the information in a machine's operating manual; manuals are carried on items of work equipment. This would include crane load charts.

 

Notes: 

Contractors need to have a program in-place to establish competency in work equipment operators. 

This training, as applicable is listed in a contractor's safety action plan.

These same requirements need to be applied to rubber-tired work equipment.  

 

 BNSF Course One
BNSF Course Section Two
BNSF Course Section Three

Course Evaluation

 

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Revised: February 12, 2012