Fourth Quarter Safety Alert

Published: Dec 3 2015 9:37AM

The FAMES Committee dedicates its efforts to all roadway workers who have lost their lives in the performance of duty and to the families, loved ones, and coworkers they have left behind.

Mission Statement:
The Mission of the Fatality Analysis of Maintenance-of-way Employees and Signalmen (FAMES) Committee is to analyze all fatalities and selected related incidents in order to make recommendations to reduce the risk of future occurrences and eliminate fatalities to roadway workers. 

Twenty-five years of data shows 4th Quarter spike in fatal roadway worker incidents

A comparison of available roadway worker fatality data over a span of 25 years (1986–1994 and 1997–2012) indicates that the highest number of roadway worker incidents occur in the 4th Quarter.

Roadway worker fatality data reviewed by FAMES for the 8-year period between 1986 and 1994 (pre-RWP rule) indicates 43 fatal roadway worker incidents. Of these 43 fatal incidents,34.8 percent (15 of 43) occurred in the 4th
Quarter (October–December).

FAMES also reviewed 42 fatal roadway worker incidents which occurred between 1997 and 2012 (post-RWP rule). Of these 42 incidents, 40 percent (17 of 42) occurred in the 4th Quarter, with October having 9 of the fatalities.

FAMES has not determined the reasons for the 4th Quarter spike in roadway worker fatalities, but the pattern is undeniable and alarming.

In recognition of these trends, FAMES takes this opportunity to remind all roadway workers to be hyper-vigilant with regard to the application of on-track safety protection, especially during the 4th Quarter. If you see someone fouling a track without on-track safety protection, say something to them. If you have concerns regarding the application of on-track safety at the job site, invoke your legally protected right to make a good faith challenge and remain clear of the tracks until the challenge has been resolved.

Let’s work together and watch out for each other, so we can save lives!
  The FAMES Committee consists of safety representatives from a cross section of rail labor, railroad management, and federal regulators. FAMES is a continuous improvement process that relies on the candid sharing of available data and the views of its participants. To enable the process, FAMES explicitly refrains from making any findings regarding whether any past or present practice or protocol satisfies any legal duty or standard of care. 
The views, opinions, and recommendations contained in this report are those of the FAMES Committee and do not necessarily represent the views, opinions, or recommendations of any specific railroad, labor organization, or governmental agency.