SMART Transportation Division has no higher priority than fighting for laws, regulations and work rules that ensure our members go home to their families in one piece.
We know that the railroad industry is one of the most dangerous, where accidents too often result in career-ending injuries or death.
Danger similarly lurks for bus, commuter, production and transit workers, and that is why our efforts include fighting for safer bus and passenger car construction, and increased training in the handling of unruly passengers with our staff constantly monitoring changes to OSHA and other occupational regulations.
In addition to our efforts before Congress, state legislatures and regulatory agencies, as well as the negotiating table, to advance workplace safety, we have several dedicated teams that study safety issues and make recommendations — the Switching Operations Fatalities Analysis (SOFA) working group, the SMART Transportation Division National Safety Team and the SMART Rail Safety Task Force.
SMART TD Safety Efforts
The Switching Operations Fatalities Analysis (SOFA) working group is a coordinated effort with the Federal Railroad Administration, carriers and labor organizations to develop safe practices that reduce fatalities and career ending injuries in yard switching operations.
The 21-member SMART Transportation Division National Safety Team assists National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators in ascertaining facts relating to rail accidents.
The SMART Rail Safety Task Force works with general chairpersons, state legislative directors, local officers and members to develop safe practices and techniques to improve — and keep at its highest level — situational awareness in yard and road operations.
Fatigue, Drug and Alcohol Testing
Fatigue is the top danger facing transportation workers today. For more information about this problem and to view a series of online presentations concerning fatigue, click on the link below.
- What You Need to Know About Federal Drug and Alcohol Testing provides general information on federal drug and alcohol testing for railroad hours of service employees.
- FRA post-accident testing criteria/flowchart (01/01/14)
- DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance
- FRA Part 40 (06/26/18)
- Summary of Part 40 drug and alcohol amendments
- Powerpoint: FRA Drug and Alcohol presentation
- DOT’s direct observation procedures
Safety Laws and Recommendations
Railroad safety laws are contained in a number of statutes and regulations. Below are links to a general summary of many of those laws. They should be used as a guide only, and if a specific problem arises, the applicable law or regulation should be reviewed. There are also links to government safety advisories and safety recommendations.
- FRA Electronic and Electrical Device Flowchart (10/20/08)
- Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008
- Close call programs
- FRA’s Collaborative Incident Analysis and Human Performance Handbook (2014)
- Be aware of your ‘whistleblower protections’