Archive for the ‘Regulatory’ Category

OSHA issues recommended practices to promote workplace anti-retaliation programs

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
Trade Release from OSHA
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Trade Release

Department of Labor, United States of America

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
Washington, D.C.
www.osha.gov
For Immediate Release
January 13, 2017
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA issues recommended practices to promote workplace anti-retaliation programs

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs to help employers create workplaces in which workers feel comfortable voicing their concerns without fear of retaliation.  The recommendations are intended to apply to all public and private sector employers covered by the 22 whistleblower protection laws that OSHA enforces.
The recommendations are adaptable to most workplaces, and employers may adjust them for such variables as number of employees, the makeup of the workforce, and the type of work performed. The concepts can be used to create a new program or enhance an existing one.
The document outlines five key elements of an effective anti-retaliation program:
1. Management leadership, commitment, and accountability
2. System for listening to and resolving employees’ safety and compliance concerns
3. System for receiving and responding to reports of retaliation
4. Anti-retaliation training for employees and managers
5. Program oversight
“These recommended practices will provide companies with the tools to create a robust anti-retaliation program,” said Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “In the long run, it’s good for workers and good for business.”
An initial draft of the Recommended Practices was posted for review and comment in the fall of 2016. The final document incorporates many of these comments, as described here.
These recommendations are advisory only and do not interpret or create any legal obligations, or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of Section 11(c) of the OSH Act, and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities laws, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, maritime, health care, workplace safety and health regulations, and consumer product safety laws. For more information, visit www.whistleblowers.gov.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
# # #

Wisconsin Central, Ltd.–Discontinuance of Service Exemption

Monday, December 8th, 2014

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 232 (Wednesday, December 3, 2014)]

[Notices]
[Pages 71815-71816]

[FR Doc No: 2014-28410]

———————————————————————–

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[Docket No. AB 303 (Sub-No. 45X]

Wisconsin Central, Ltd.–Discontinuance of Service Exemption–in  Ashland and Iron Counties, Wis., and Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties, Mich.

Wisconsin Central Ltd. (WCL) has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR pt. 1152 subpart F–Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances of Service to discontinue service over approximately 77.8 miles of rail line, known as the White Pine Subdivision, between milepost 332.4 at Marengo Junction, Wis., and milepost 254.6 at White Pine, Mich., in Ashland and Iron Counties, Wis., and Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties, Mich. (the Line). The Line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 49910, 49911, 49938, 49947, 49953, 49968, 54534, 54559, 54806, and 54855.
WCL has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the Line for at least two years; (2) there is no overhead traffic on the Line; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the Line (or by a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the Line either is pending with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of complainant within the two-year
period; and (4) the requirements at 49 CFR 1105.12 (newspaper publication) and 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(1) (notice to governmental agencies) have been met.
As a condition to this exemption, any employee adversely affected by the discontinuance shall be protected under Oregon Short Line Railroad–Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for partial revocation under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) must be filed.
Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA) to subsidize continued rail service has been received, this exemption will become effective on January 2, 2015, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues and formal expressions of intent to file an OFA to subsidize continued rail service under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2),\1\ must be filed by December 12, 2014.\2\ Petitions to
reopen must be filed by December 23, 2014, with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.
—————————————————————————

\1\ Each OFA must be accompanied by the filing fee, which is currently set at $1,600. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).
\2\ Because this is a discontinuance proceeding and not an abandonment, trail use/rail banking and public use conditions are not appropriate. Likewise, no environmental or historic documentation is required here under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) and 49 CFR 1105.8(b), respectively.
—————————————————————————

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to WCL’s representative: Robert A. Wimbish,

[[Page 71816]]

Fletcher & Sippel LLC, 29 North Wacker Drive, Suite 920, Chicago, IL. 60606.
If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.
Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at “WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.”

Decided: November 26, 2014.

By the Board, Joseph H. Dettmar, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.
Brendetta S. Jones,Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2014-28410 Filed 12-2-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P

Escanaba & Lake Superior Railway Company–Lease and Operation

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 211 (Friday, October 31, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 64884-64885]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-25934]

———————————————————————–

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[Docket No. FD 35864]

Escanaba & Lake Superior Railway Company–Lease and Operation Exemption–Rail Line of Wisconsin Central Ltd. in Menominee County, Mich., and Marinette County, Wis.

Escanaba & Lake Superior Railway Company (E&LS), a Class III rail carrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to lease from Wisconsin Central Ltd., and to operate, pursuant to a non-exclusive lease agreement executed on September 30, 2014, approximately 2.8 miles of rail line that consists of the following segments: Track #129 at Menominee, in Menominee County, Mich., Track #270 at Marinette, Wis., and approximately 3,000 lineal feet of Track #115 at Marinette, in Marinette County, Wis. E&LS states that there are no mileposts on the subject line segments.
According to E&LS, the lease agreement between the parties will facilitate providing switching services to shippers on the line segments. E&LS states that the lease does not contain any provision or agreement that may limit future interchange of traffic with a third-party connecting carrier.
E&LS states that it expects to consummate the transaction on November 10, 2014. The earliest this transaction can be consummated is November 15, 2014, the effective date of this exemption (30 days after the verified notice of exemption was filed).
E&LS certifies that its projected annual revenues as a result of this transaction will not result in E&LS becoming a Class I or Class II rail carrier and will not exceed $5 million.
If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions to stay must be filed by November 7, 2014 (at least seven days prior to the date the exemption becomes effective).
An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 35864, must be filed with

the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, a copy of each
pleading must be served on applicant’s representative, Keith G. O’Brien, Baker & Miller PLLC, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 300,
Washington, DC 20037.
Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at “WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.”

Decided: October 28, 2014.

By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Brendetta S. Jones,Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2014-25934 Filed 10-30-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P

Federal Railroad Administration Issues Emergency Order to Prevent Unintended Hazardous Materials Train Movement

Monday, August 5th, 2013

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued an Emergency Order and Safety Advisory to help prevent trains operating on mainline tracks or sidings from moving unintentionally. The FRA’s announcement was made in response to the July 6, 2013 derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, as it awaits additional data once the investigation into the crash is complete.  The actions announced today build on the success of FRA’s rigorous safety program, which has helped reduce train accidents by 43 percent over the last decade, and made 2012 the safest year in American rail history.

The Emergency Order is a mandatory directive to the rail industry, and failure to comply will result in enforcement actions against violating railroads.

“Safety is our top priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “While we wait for the full investigation to conclude, the Department is taking steps today to help prevent a similar incident from occurring in the United States.”

Today’s Emergency Order outlines measures that all railroads must undertake within the next 30 days:

  • No train or vehicles transporting specified hazardous materials can be left unattended on a mainline track or side track outside a yard or terminal, unless specifically authorized.
  • In order to receive authorization to leave a train unattended, railroads must develop and submit to FRA a process for securing unattended trains transporting hazardous materials, including locking the locomotive or otherwise disabling it, and reporting among employees to ensure the correct number of hand brakes are applied.
  • Employees who are responsible for securing trains and vehicles transporting such specified hazardous material must communicate with the train dispatchers the number of hand brakes applied, the tonnage and length of the train or vehicle, the grade and terrain features of the track, any relevant weather conditions, and the type of equipment being secured.
  • Train dispatchers must record the information provided. The dispatcher or other qualified railroad employees must verify that the securement meets the railroad’s requirements.
  • Railroads must implement rules ensuring that any employee involved in securing a train participate in daily job briefings prior to the work being performed.
  • Railroads must develop procedures to ensure a qualified railroad employee inspects all equipment that an emergency responder has been on, under or between before the train can be left unattended.
  • Railroads must provide this EO to all affected employees.

“Today’s action builds upon a comprehensive regulatory framework we have had in place for some time,” said FRA Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “The safe shipment of all cargo is paramount and protecting the safety of the American public is fundamental to our enforcement strategy and we are encouraged by the industry’s willingness to cooperate with this approach going forward.”

In addition to the Emergency Order, the FRA, together with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), issued a Safety Advisory detailing a list of recommendations railroads are expected to follow.  U. S. DOT believes that railroad safety is enhanced through the use of multiple crew members, and the Safety Advisory recommends railroads review their crew staffing requirements for transporting hazardous material and ensure that they are adequate. Other recommendations in the Safety Advisory include:  conducting system-wide evaluations to identify particular hazards that may make it more difficult to secure a train or pose other safety risks and to develop procedures to mitigate those risks.

“When PHMSA talks about the transportation of hazardous materials, safety is a prerequisite to movement,” said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman. “We are taking this action today and we will be looking hard at the current rail operating practices for hazardous materials to ensure the public’s safety.”

As FRA continues to evaluate safety procedures following the recent crash, it will convene an emergency meeting of its Railroad Safety Advisory Committee to consider what additional safety measures may be required.  FRA plans to develop a website that will allow the public to track industry compliance with the Emergency Order and Safety Advisory issued today. FRA has developed a plan that outlines six major actions that have occurred or will occur to further ensure that our regulatory response to the Canadian rail accident remains transparent.

Under current DOT regulations, all freight railroads are required to develop and implement risk assessments and security plans in order to transport any hazardous material, including a plan to prevent unauthorized access in rail yards, facilities and trains carrying hazardous materials. Railroads that carry hazardous materials are required to develop and follow a security protocol while en route; railroad employees are subject to background checks and must complete training.  Training programs and protocols are reviewed and audited by the FRA routinely and generally designed to be progressive so as the level of risk increases so does the level of security required. A description of past, present, and proposed FRA actions on this issue can be found here.

####

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Highway-Rail Grade Crossing; Safe Clearance

Monday, February 7th, 2011

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION   

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration    

49 CFR Part 177   

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration   

49 CFR Part 392  

[Docket Numbers PHMSA–2010–0319 (HM–255) & FMCSA–2006–25660]   

RIN 2137–AE69 & 2126–AB04 &   

Highway-Rail Grade Crossing; Safe Clearance   

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).   

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comments.   

SUMMARY: FMCSA and PHMSA propose to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs), respectively, to prohibit a motor vehicle driver from entering onto a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to drive completely through the grade crossing without stopping. This action is in response to section 112 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act of 1994. The intent of this rulemaking is to reduce highwayrail grade crossing crashes.

   

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011-1841.pdf   

DOT FRA (NPRM). : Notice of proposed rulemaking Locomotive Safety Standards

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

Federal Railroad Administration 

49 CFR Parts 229 and 238 [Docket No. FR–2009–0095; Notice No. 1] RIN 2130–AC16 

Locomotive Safety Standards 

ACTION 

(NPRM). : Notice of proposed rulemaking 

SUMMARY : FRA proposes to revise the existing regulations containing Railroad Locomotive Safety Standards. The proposed revisions would update, consolidate, and clarify the existing regulations. The proposal incorporates existing industry and engineering best practices related to locomotives and locomotive electronics. This includes the development of a safety analysis for new locomotive electronic systems. FRA believes this proposal will modernize and improve its safety regulatory program related to locomotives. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2010-33244.pdf 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Federal Railroad Administration Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal System

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

Federal Railroad Administration 

[Docket Number FRA–2010–0160] 

Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal System Pursuant to Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 235 and 49 U.S.C. 20502(a), the following railroad has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) seeking approval for the discontinuance or modification of the signal system, as detailed below. 

Applicant: CSX Transportation, Mr. Joseph Ivanyo, Chief Engineer, Communications and Signals, 500 Water Street, SC J–350, Jacksonville, FL 32202. 

The CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) seeks relief from the requirements of 49 CFR Section 235.5 to expedite successful installation of the Positive Train Control (PTC) mandated by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. CSXT will be updating first generation, non-microprocessor based coded track circuitry, eliminating certain searchlight signal mechanisms, relocating signals to more advantageous locations and other desired modifications not previously addressed, which may otherwise require the submission of an application. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-29473.pdf 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Federal Railroad Administration Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal System

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

Federal Railroad Administration 

Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal System

Pursuant to Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 235 and 49 U.S.C. 20502(a), the following railroad has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) seeking approval for the discontinuance or modification of a signal system, as detailed below. 

Docket Number FRA–2010–0159 

Applicant: LeVere, AVP Signals, BNSF Railway Company, 2600 Lou Menk Drive, OOB3, Fort Worth, Texas 76131. The BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) seeks relief from the requirements of 49 CFR 235.5 to expedite successful installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) mandated by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. BNSF will be updating first generation, nonmicroprocessor based coded track circuitry, eliminating certain searchlight signal mechanisms, relocating signals to more advantageous locations and other desired modifications not previously addressed, which may otherwise require the submission of an application. BNSF Railway, Mr. James. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-29473.pdf 

 

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Surface Transportation Board Waiver from compliance with FRA Regulations

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

Surface Transportation Board 

[Docket No. AB 290 (Sub-No. 318X); AB 1059X] 

Norfolk Southern Railway Company—Abandonment Exemption—in Crawford County, GA; Georgia Midland Railroad, Inc. 

Exemption—in Crawford County, GA1—Discontinuance of Service Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) and Georgia Midland Railroad, Inc. (GMR) (collectively, applicants) have jointly filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR part 1152 subpart F— Discontinuances of Service and Trackage Rights and for GMR to discontinue service over, a 5.06-mile portion of rail line (the Perry line), between milepost FV 90.44 and milepost FV 95.50, in Roberta, Crawford County, Ga. traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 31078.Exempt Abandonments andfor NSR to abandon,2 The line 

Applicants have certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) any overhead traffic can be rerouted over other lines; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the line (or by a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the line either is pending with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of complainant within the 2-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 CFR 1105.7(c) (environmental report), 49 CFR 1105.11 (transmittal letter), 49 CFR 1105.12 (newspaper publication), and 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(1) (notice to governmental agencies) have been met. 

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-29473.pdf

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Federal Railroad Administration Petition for Waiver of Compliance

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

Federal Railroad Administration 

Petition for Waiver of Compliance 

In accordance with Part 211 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), notice is hereby given that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has received a request for a waiver of compliance from certain requirements of its safety standards. The individual petition is described below, including the party seeking relief, the regulatory provisions involved, the nature of the relief being requested, and the petitioner’s arguments in favor of relief. Union Pacific Railroad Company [Waiver Petition Docket Number FRA–2004–17565] 

The Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR) seeks an amendment to an existing waiver of compliance from certain provisions of Title 49 CFR parts 231 and 232, concerning the operation of RoadRailer  and RailRunner equipment on their railroad. Subject to certain conditions, the existing waiver in this docket authorizes UPRR to operate RoadRailer equipmen on their railroad. UPRR now seeks relief from certain provisions of the Railroad Safety Appliance Standards in Title 49 CFR part 231, that stipulate the number, location, and dimensions for handholds, ladders, sill steps, uncoupling levers, and handbrakes to operate RailRunner equipment commingled with RoadRailer equipment. UPRR also seeks relief from Title 49 CFR 231.31, which sets the standard height for drawbars. UPRR states that this relief is necessary to allow them to operate and commingle the RoadRailer  and RailRunner equipment on dedicated trains operating from Chicago, Illinois, to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-29291.pdf