Railway Industry Faces Safety Changes

The railway industry has been facing a handful of changes regarding workplace safety recently. The first of these changes relates to rail tank cars. Due to recent accidents and spills, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has decided to consider new safety rules, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As a result of recent accidents—including one in Quebec this summer that killed 47 people—the PHMSA will review proposals that require old and new tank cars to be retrofitted with high quality fittings and better puncture-resistant systems. The proposals they will be reviewing are from rail tank users, the industry, the NTSB, petitioners and more. The public will have 60 days to comment on these proposals.

Even though certain companies began manufacturing new tank cars with better safety standard a few years ago, the Association of American Railroads would like companies to retrofit older tank cars with better safety standards as well.

In addition to possibly creating new regulations for tank cars, members of Congress have recently begun trying to push back a previously set deadline that requires industry members to install safer technology (called positive train control) according to CBS News. The technology, whose implementation deadline was Dec. 31, 2015, would prevent the most dangerous collisions.

The implementation of positive train control has been delayed because several companies in the industry have faced logistical and technical challenges. A handful of senators have introduced a bill that would extend the deadline five to seven years. The proposed delay has been met with resistance, however, as some believe that this further emphasizes how the industry can stall legal regulations if they’d like, while others believe that the industry is actually struggling to meet the deadline in time.

For more information, visit: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57601095/despite-crashes-train-industry-pushes-back-new-safety-tech/

Posted by Jamie Friedlander on Sep 05, 2013