track safety

FAMES (Fatality Analysis of Maintenance-of-way Employees and Signalmen) is a committee that was formed by the Federal Roadway Administration (FRA) to review roadway worker fatalities. The purpose of FAMES is to identify risks in the industry and improve the safety of workers for the future. They have recently released a report that details the importance of effective On-Track Safety Briefings and the following are some of the key highlights and takeaways from their findings.

Importance of On-Track Safety Briefings

The FAMES report analyzed 39 roadway worker fatality accidents from the past 24 years, with a particular emphasis on On-Track Safety Briefings. These briefings are designed to tell roadway workers which safety equipment they will need for the day and give them an opportunity to ask any questions.

The major finding from the report was that of the 39 accidents analyzed, 19 of them, or 46%, were found to have had “insufficient or nonexistent On-Track Safety Briefings.” The top recommendation from FAMES is that supervisors always conduct a sufficient briefing before any roadway worker takes to the track.

Of the 19 incidents that did not have a briefing, eight were due to accidents on an adjacent track. FAMES also recommends that adjacent tracks be a discussion point in On-Track Safety Briefings.

Other Recommendations

The FAMES committee also highlighted the importance of roadway workers’ right to exercise a “good faith challenge.” A good faith challenge means that when roadway workers believe that there are unresolved on-track safety issues, they have the right to stay clear of the tracks until these issues are resolved. The report recommends that roadway workers understand their rights to initiate a good faith challenge and should not hesitate to do so.

FAMES also recommends that On-Track Safety Briefings incorporate the roadway workers more into the discussion, believing that active participation can be beneficial to safety. Roadway workers should be encouraged to ask questions and participate in discussions involving safety concerns.

The report also highlighted that a briefing cannot be complete until every roadway worker adequately understands and acknowledges the safety measures that will be utilized that day. In addition, FAMES recommends that safety briefings occur again after meal breaks or long periods of inactivity.

Speak to Railroad Injury Attorneys

Working in the railroad industry can be extremely dangerous, even if On-Track Safety Briefings are done regularly. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or chronic illness due to working on the railroads, contact an experienced railroad injury attorney today. Learn how Doran & Murphy, PLLC could help protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve after suffering a terrible accident.