Transport Canada to address fatigue in the rail industry

Transport Canada is initiating an amendment to the rail safety regulatory framework to address fatigue in the rail industry. Fatigue is pervasive in the transportation sector where 24/7 operations 365 days a year are the norm and workers are subject to shift work, disruptive schedules and long hours of work.

In 2016, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) cited sleep-related fatigue as a contributing factor or as a risk in 23 TSB railway investigations conducted since 1994. This represents about 20% of the 94 rail investigations conducted during that period. In response to this finding, the TSB placed fatigue in the rail industry on its Watchlist 2016.

The proposed regulatory amendments will provide a more robust fatigue management regime in the rail industry, comprising amendments and additions to the current prescriptive limits for operating employees, as well as fatigue management and fitness for duty requirements.

As a starting point, the Department will develop short-term strategies to deal with immediate fatigue risks that will include revisions to the Work/Rest Rules

The Department is undertaking a review of fatigue risk management system (FRMS) best practices in the transportation sector and other industries to determine how these concepts can be applied in the rail industry in Canada and to support potential regulatory changes

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