49 CFR § 214.317 - On-track safety procedures, generally.

§ 214.317 On-track safety procedures, generally.

(a) Each employer subject to the provisions of this part shall provide on-track safety for roadway workers by adopting a program that contains specific rules for protecting roadway workers that comply with the provisions of §§ 214.319 through 214.337.

(b) Roadway workers may walk across any track provided that they can safely be across and clear of the track before a train or other on-track equipment would arrive at the crossing point under the following circumstances:

(1) Employers shall adopt, and roadway workers shall comply with, applicable railroad safety rules governing how to determine that it is safe to cross the track before starting across;

(2) Roadway workers shall move directly and promptly across the track; and

(3) On-track safety protection is in place for all roadway workers who are actually engaged in work, including inspection, construction, maintenance or repair, and extending to carrying tools or material that restricts motion, impairs sight or hearing, or prevents an employee from detecting and moving rapidly away from an approaching train or other on-track equipment.

(c) On non-controlled track, on-track roadway maintenance machines engaged in weed spraying or snow removal may proceed under the provisions of § 214.301(c), under the following conditions:

(1) Each railroad shall establish and comply with an operating procedure for on-track snow removal and weed spray equipment to ensure that:

(i) All on-track movements in the affected area are informed of such operations;

(ii) All on-track movements shall operate at restricted speed as defined in § 214.7, except on other than yard tracks and yard switching leads, where all on-track movements shall operate prepared to stop within one-half the range of vision but not exceeding 25 mph;

(iii) A means for communication between the on-track equipment and other on-track movements is provided; and

(iv) Remotely controlled hump yard facility operations are not in effect, and kicking of cars is prohibited unless agreed to by the roadway worker in charge.

(2) Roadway workers engaged in such snow removal or weed spraying operations subject to this section shall retain an absolute right to use the provisions of § 214.327 (inaccessible track).

(3) Roadway workers assigned to work with this equipment may line switches (or derails operated via a switch stand) for the machine's movement but shall not engage in any roadway work activity unless protected by another form of on-track safety.

(4) Each roadway maintenance machine engaged in snow removal or weed spraying under this provision shall be equipped with and utilize:

(i) An operative 360-degree intermittent warning light or beacon;

(ii) Work lights, if the machine is operated during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise or in dark areas such as tunnels, unless equivalent lighting is otherwise provided;

(iii) An illumination device, such as a headlight, capable of illuminating obstructions on the track ahead in the direction of travel for a distance of 300 feet under normal weather and atmospheric conditions;

(iv) A brake light activated by the application of the machine braking system, and designed to be visible for a distance of 300 feet under normal weather and atmospheric conditions; and

(v) A rearward viewing device, such as a rearview mirror.

(d) Tunnel niches or clearing bays in existence prior to April 1, 2017 that are designed to permit roadway workers to occupy a place of safety when trains or other on-track equipment pass the niche or clearing bay, but are less than four feet from the field side of the nearest rail, may continue to be used as a place of safety provided:

(1) Such niches or clearing bays are visually inspected by the roadway worker in charge or lone worker prior to making the determination that the niche or clearing bay is suitable for use as a place of safety;

(2) There is adequate sight distance to permit a roadway worker or lone worker to occupy the place of safety in the niche or clearing bay at least 15 seconds prior to the arrival of a train or other on-track equipment at the work location in accordance with §§ 214.329 and 214.337; and

(3) The roadway worker in charge or lone worker shall have the absolute right to designate a place of safety as a location other than that of a tunnel niche or clearing bay described by this paragraph (d), or to establish working limits.

[81 FR 37885, June 10, 2016]

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