New Worker Safety Regulations Arrive On Heels Of Deadly BART Incident

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On the heels of an incident wherein an incoming Bay Area Rapid Transit train took the lives of two BART workers along the tracks, the California Public Utilities Commission has given the go-ahead to a set of regulations that could hopefully improve safety.

The new rules will impact the dozen agencies that the Commission oversees.  That means that entities like the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, BART, and others will need to meet the new requirements within the next 90 days.  Although the rules have been in the works for five years, the most recent fatalities prompted alterations to accommodate the perceived safety threat.

The new regulations are designed to offer additional protection to workers that otherwise may be put in danger.  The operators of trains will be required to reduce speed when approaching areas of the track where work is being conducted, with flags denoting exactly where those areas are.

The rules also seek an expansion to communication between train operators, workers on the track, and the central hub.  The recent accident occurred amid a policy wherein workers are tasked with looking out for trains without benefitting from any type of warning system.  The new communication measure will require each end to make a report to the others on their position on the tracks and the safety measures being taken.