The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) administration came under intense fire from labor unions after two maintenance workers were fatally hit by a train while performing track repairs. BART’s “simple approval” policy, which made workers responsible for their own safety, was effectively suspended following the tragedy. Several weeks after the incident, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) implemented a revised set of safety guidelines for train workers.
This makes California, according to the CPUC, the first state to enact and adopt a comprehensive safety policy for their public transit systems. It will take the place of BART’s “simple approval” policy, which unions have been fighting to end for years. The following excerpt from The San Francisco Examiner gives us more details:
“Among other rules, transit agencies in California must immediately create a procedure for three-way communication among train operators, central controllers and workers doing maintenance on the tracks.
The movement of trains into work zones must be controlled with flags or signals limiting speed, or locking switches that physically prevent train cars from moving on tracks where work is being done.”
Companies and employers based in California are often overwhelmed by the increasingly complex government regulations and the rising cost of workers’ compensation claims. Fortunately, safety and risk management specialists from companies like OmegaComp HR can help their clients implement CA employee safety procedures to ensure compliance with government regulations and reduce workplace risks. Specialists also keep their clients updated on the latest regulatory changes, and communicate with Cal/OSHA on behalf of their clients.
BART’s controversial simple approval policy has been under fire for years. In 2008, a train worker was also hit by a train while conducting maintenance work. Afterwards, BART began sending its workers to do maintenance work in pairs; one would repair the track while the other would be on the lookout for oncoming trains.
Today, the CPUC requires transit agencies to develop clear lines of communication and coordinate their various departments to promote workplace safety. Safety and risk management specialists that provide employee safety training in Sacramento provide the tools, advice, and training materials to reinforce workplace safety and accident prevention. Comprehensive safety and risk management will ensure a safer work environment for employees, and will reduce the number of serious workplace injuries.
Article Excerpt and Image from: New BART Rail Worker Safety Rules Approved in Wake of Fatal Accident; The San Francisco Examiner; November 1, 2013.