Workers Health & Safety Centre

Feds looking for feedback on proposed amendments to On Board Trains Regulations

The federal government is accepting public comments on proposed regulations to amend the On Board Trains Occupational Safety and Health Regulations.
The proposed amendments to the On Board Trains Occupational Safety and Health Regulations were pre-published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on April 12, 2014. The public has 30 days in which to comment.
The On Board Trains Regulations specifically apply to workers on board trains while the train is in operation and address hazards that are unique to the working environment on board a train in addition to general occupational health and safety hazards. The Regulations are designed to help protect railway engineers, conductors, brakemen, and passenger train customer service personnel.
Workers covered by the Regulations have been exposed to excessive sound levels among other hazards and have suffered from injury rates higher than the federal jurisdiction average for the years 2001 to 2011. Since the Regulations came into force in 1987, there have not been any substantial amendments to modernize their occupational health and safety requirements, procedures and standards. Also amendments have not occurred to address inquiries from the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR).The proposed amendments aim to address all of the above issues.
The main amendments to the Regulations will:
  • Reduce sound levels to which employees may be exposed;
  • Add a new requirement that the employer is expected to introduce engineering controls to reduce employee exposure to noise;
  • Require all employees to be trained in basic first aid;
  • Require the employer to develop and implement a hazard prevention program and implement controls preventing workplace violence, ergonomics-related hazards and other unsafe or harmful working conditions;
  • Update health and safety standards such as those related to hazardous substances and personal protection equipment; and
  • Change how standards are to be referenced in the Regulations.
Amendments would also resolve outstanding SJCSR inquiries, including clarifying certain definitions and addressing discrepancies between the English and French versions of the Regulations. Also the proposed Regulations are not expected to have any impact on domestic or international coordination and cooperation. American rail companies operating in Canada, such as Amtrak, are not subject to this legislation.
The proposed Regulations will come into force 90 days from the date of registration of the new requirements.
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