As part of its railroad safety risk reduction program, a railroad carrier required to submit a railroad safety risk reduction program under subsection (a) shall develop and update at least once every 2 years a fatigue management plan that is designed to reduce the fatigue experienced by safety-related railroad employees and to reduce the likelihood of accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities caused by fatigue. Any such update shall be subject to review and approval by the Secretary.
(2)Targeted fatigue countermeasures.—
A railroad carrier’s fatigue management plan shall take into account the varying circumstances of operations by the railroad on different parts of its system, and shall prescribe appropriate fatigue countermeasures to address those varying circumstances.
(3)Additional elements.—A railroad shall consider the need to include in its fatigue management plan elements addressing each of the following items, as applicable:
Employee education and training on the physiological and human factors that affect fatigue, as well as strategies to reduce or mitigate the effects of fatigue, based on the most current scientific and medical research and literature.
Opportunities for identification, diagnosis, and treatment of any medical condition that may affect alertness or fatigue, including sleep disorders.
Effects on employee fatigue of an employee’s short-term or sustained response to emergency situations, such as derailments and natural disasters, or engagement in other intensive working conditions.
Scheduling practices for employees, including innovative scheduling practices, on-duty call practices, work and rest cycles, increased consecutive days off for employees, changes in shift patterns, appropriate scheduling practices for varying types of work, and other aspects of employee scheduling that would reduce employee fatigue and cumulative sleep loss.
Methods to minimize accidents and incidents that occur as a result of working at times when scientific and medical research have shown increased fatigue disrupts employees’ circadian rhythm.
Alertness strategies, such as policies on napping, to address acute drowsiness and fatigue while an employee is on duty.
Opportunities to obtain restful sleep at lodging facilities, including employee sleeping quarters provided by the railroad carrier.
The increase of the number of consecutive hours of off-duty rest, during which an employee receives no communication from the employing railroad carrier or its managers, supervisors, officers, or agents.
Avoidance of abrupt changes in rest cycles for employees.
Additional elements that the Secretary considers appropriate.