Rail Imminent Hazard Maximum Penalty Rising to $100,000

The most severe violations of U.S. rail safety regulations will carry a heavy penalty next year. The Federal Railroad Administration is raising its ordinary maximum and aggravated maximum penalties to amounts authorized by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008: The minimum civil penalty per violation will go from $550 to $650, the ordinary maximum civil penalty per violation from $16,000 to $25,000, and the aggravated maximum civil penalty per violation where a grossly negligent violation or pattern of repeated violations has created an imminent hazard of death or injury will go from $27,000 to $100,000.

The final rule will take effect March 2.

Congress passed the 2008 law to put more teeth into penalties for violations that contribute to railroad fatalities, injuries, and hazardous materials releases, and President George W. Bush signed the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 into law Oct. 16, 2008. The law specifically authorizes penalty assessments up to $100,000 in instances where grossly negligent violations occur.

The agency said it issued the rule without providing a notice of proposed rulemaking or an opportunity for public comment because the law meant FRA did not exercise discretion in raising the penalties in a way that could be informed by public comment.

The rule applies to all future rail safety civil penalty cases that occur on or after the effective date of March 2, 2009. For more information, contact Stephen N. Gordon, a trial attorney in FRA's Office of Chief Counsel (phone 202-493-6001, e-mail stephen.n.gordon@dot.gov).

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Analyze Incident Data

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January / February 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue