CSX has recently petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for waiver from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 CFR part 225, Railroad Accidents/Incidents: Reports Classification, and Investigations. Specifically, CSX requests a waiver from 49 CFR 225.25(h), which requires, in part, that monthly listings of employee reportable injuries, occupational illnesses, and fatalities be “posted in a conspicuous location” at each establishment where a railroad reasonably expects its employees to report during a 12-month period, and that employees “have the opportunity to observe the posted list.” CSX requests that in lieu of a paper copy of the listing, to make the required information available via a web portal that allows employees access to information from computer terminals and employees’ personal electronic devices. CSX states that any employee who prefers a paper listing would have the option to request a hard copy of the listing from his or her supervisor.
The Brotherhood Railway Carman Division (BRC) has joined with four (4) other rail unions to oppose CSX’s petition for waiver. Rail labor made five (5) principle arguments in their comments: first, that the relevant information is not conspicuously posted on the web portal; second, that employees have very little time to find and review the information on the web portal; third, that a significant amount of employees either don’t have access to CSX’s computer terminals or do not have devices on which to access the web portal; fourth, that supervisors and employees will not have sufficient time to review the information in detail; and finally, that technology is prone to failure in numerous ways which could make the information inaccessible to the company’s employees.
“Posting the monthly listings of employee reportable injuries, occupational illnesses, and fatalities in a conspicuous location is central to the safe performance of CSX’s trains,” says BRC General President Richard A. Johnson. “Should this petition be granted, it could have severe effects on safety because physically posting injuries and illnesses conspicuously in public view allows all of the company’s departments, including contractors, to see life-threatening instances that may very well affect their day’s intended work.”
Click here to read rail labor’s comments