Metro Evaluates Rail Worker Fatigue

Metro managers met Nov. 17 to discuss the safety of the railroad. One of the areas that was discussed in the meeting was fatigue prevention among rail employees who work in safety-critical jobs.

Metro said it plans to cap the number of hours certain employees can work at 14 hours to prevent fatigue. These positions include power employees, automated train control technicians and heavy-equipment operators. The plan is to be imposed by the end of next year, Metro said.

Richard Sarles, General Manager of Metro, said Metro plans to require all supervisors to go to fatigue awareness training and to hire an expert to help identify, prevent, and manage rail worker fatigue. Sarles said the expert would evaluate everything that could cause rail worker fatigue, including the times an employee works and the food he or she eats.

Metro also plans to hire additional workers to reduce the amount of time each employee works. The proposals are to cost around $11 million.

The recommendations in the proposal follow a study that looked at how the transit authority manages worker fatigue.

Currently, there are no federal rules that limit the number of hours a railroad employee can work. There are federal regulations for truck drivers, however.

(Source: Washington Post)

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