Roadway Worker Authority Limits-Importance of Clear Communication, Compliance With Applicable Rules and Procedures, and Ensuring That Appropriate Safety Redundancies Are in Place in the Event of Miscommunication or Error
FRA is issuing Safety Advisory 2014-02 to reemphasize the importance of clear communication and compliance with applicable rules and procedures regarding roadway worker authority limits on controlled track. FRA believes it is necessary to issue this advisory in light of the miscommunication or error involved in recent roadway worker incidents that occurred at locations that were either outside of authority limits or within authority limits that were no longer protected due to dispatcher error. This safety advisory recommends that railroads monitor their employees for compliance with existing applicable rules and procedures and that they also examine their train dispatching systems, rules, and procedures to ensure that appropriate safety redundancies are in place in the event of miscommunication or error. In addition, this safety advisory recommends that if a railroad determines that appropriate safety redundancies are not in place, the railroad should adopt electronic technology that would provide appropriate safety redundancies, and adopt certain interim safety measures and procedures at least until such technology is in place.