15 track workers deaths prompt NTSB study

Railroad regulators say some federal workplace safety standards should be extended to workers on and near the tracks.

The National Transportation Safety Board is issuing a draft report after investigating 15 deaths of railroad “roadway” employees in 2013. The number was up from eight in 2012 and five in 2011.

Among the report’s findings is that differences between regulations of the Federal Railroad Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can be confusing.

It recommends that the railroad administration include OSHA standards during job briefings for roadway workers.

It said causes of deaths included workers hit by trains, falls from bridges, electrocution and a mudslide.

Accidents such as train crashes and derailments were not part of the study.

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