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The A.T. & S.F. Railway is one of the carriers that has attempted to provide protection through the use of radio equipment furnished to maintenance-of-way crews and the personnel of approaching trains. The noise of the machinery in a mechanized crew seriously interferes with any discussion, including communications transmitted by radio. In this particular instance, radio reception was described as generally poor in the area of the accident. This was due to the terrain, which included very deep rock cuts together with mineral deposits in the vicinity.
In addition, evidence given at the hearing held following this accident indicated that the verbal instructions issued in connection with the use of radio equipment were conflicting and subject to misunderstanding. Radio communication as a means of protection failed completely to prevent this accident.
There have been other instances of accidents resulting from the use of radio communication similar to the foregoing case. Attempts of the railroads to use radios for protective purposes demand thorough investigation by a governmental agency, as do other current flagging practices of the carriers.
The proposed legislation would authorize the Department of Transportation to investigate and issue such rules and regulations as it determined were needed with respect to adequate protection for employees at work under traffic.
For many years the traditional method of transporting maintenance-of-way employees, tools, and materials from the headquarters of the crew to and from the point of work was by a track motor car; that is, a vehicle powered by a gasoline motor with flanged wheels to travel over the rails. In recent years, however, the trend has been more and more to replace track motor cars with trucks traveling over the public highways. We can envisage the time, if the present trend continues, where trucks may supplant track motor cars almost entirely except in territories where the terrain is such that the use of trucks is not feasible.
It is not unusual practice for tools, materials, equipment, and even gasoline to be hauled in the same truck as the employees. In some instances, track motor cars or push cars are also loaded into the truck for transportation from one rail point to another. A number of safet v aspects, therefore, are involved in the use of highway trucks.
1. The truck should be suitable for the transportation of passengers. (Accident reports reveal various instances in which employees riding in trucks have been killed or injured when they were thrown over the low railing of an open truck when the truck lurched suddenly.)
2. Employees should not be transported in the same truck as tools, equipment, or material.
3. Combustibles should not be hauled in the same truck as the employees.
4. The space occupied by the employees should be covered, heated, and lighted.
5. There should be means of communication between the passengers and the driver.
6. Suitable seats or benches, securely fastened, should be provided so that the employees will not have to stand or sit on the floor.
7. The truck should contain a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher,
8. The underfooting in the truck should be safe (not slippery from materials hauled, et cetera).
9. A safe means of ingress and egress from the passenger compartment should be provided, and there should be handholds and slipproof ladder.
10. The truck should be maintained in mechanically safe condition.
I do not think it can be denied that each of the foregoing points is a necessary requirement for safety. I can say quite frankly, however, that is a rare instance when a truck being used by a railroad in maintenance-of-way service even approaches these minimum safe standards.
Laws governing the transportation of railroad employees on the public highways have been sought in the various States, but this legislation has been strongly opposed by the railroads and most State legislatures have failed to act.
In only five States Michigan, Oregon, Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri-do we have laws of this nature at the present time; and even these laws are entirely inadequate to remedy the situation. Failure of the States to act in this area has made necessary the passage of the proposed legislation which would give the Department of Transportation the needed authority in this field of safety.
To illustrate the extent to which maintenance-of-way trucks are involved in accidents, I call your attention to table 2, submitted with this statement, which summarizes the information contained on accident reporting form T, filed by the carriers with the Department of Transportation and formerly with the ICC. It will be noted from this analysis that in many instances the accident occurred because one of the 10 standards previously listed was violated.
The need is clear for national rules and regulations to insure the safe transportation of employees by the railroads.
The proposed legislation which you are now considering is a great improvement over the existing laws which relate to railroad safety. However, before the brotherhoods could support such legislation, a number of revisions must be made. We are very concerned about several particular consequences of the application of the proposed legislation.
Probably the most important problems are the possibility that the legislation may limit the functions of, or the negotiations under, the Railway Labor Act, and that the Secretary's authority may extend to activities involving or growing out of a labor dispute. We fought many years, long and hard, in order to get these protections and rights, and we could never support any legislation which might limit or interfere with them. I might add that I do not think it is the intention of this legislation to extend to activities covered by the Railway Labor Act or to prohibit strikes, but this intention requires some redrafting.
We are also very concerned over section 4 of the bill which provides for the automatic supersession of State law after a period of 2 vears. One of the major legislative objectives of the maintenance of way employees during the past 20 years has been to secure effective State laws covering the safety of track motorcars and other maintenance of way equipment.
I am pleased to say that in virtually all of our States there are laws providing numerous track motorcar safety protections. With the chairman's permission I would like to insert into the record at the end of my testimony a compilation of all of these State laws.
This is the document I am referring to, Mr. Chairman. It contains each of the laws in each of the States in the continental United States,
that we have been able to secure as a result of our activities in the State legislatures, and I would ask that I have the privilege of inserting this in the record at the end of my testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. We will either have it in the record, or in the committee files. We will determine that later.
(The document referred to was placed in committee files.)
Mr. CROTTY. If section 4 of the bill were enacted in its present form, all of these State laws would be repealed without any assurance that the existing safety protections would be continued.
Millions of dollars and untold man-hours, as I have stated, have been invested by the maintenance of way employees in persuading State legislatures of the need to enact these laws, and they should not be tampered with until and unless there are minimum Federal standards in existence which are at least equal to the State laws to be superseded.
Railroad workers should be entirely excluded from the sanctions of the proposed legislation. Otherwise, the worker will be placed in the dilemma of either carrying out a command of his superior, which may be illegal, or find himself subject to disciplinary action because of his failure to obey his superior. Such a burden should not be placed upon the worker, but rather upon those directly responsible for such violations--the railroads and their management personnel.
In addition, there are numerous procedural protections absent from the proposed legislation. These suggested procedural changes were discussed in detail by one of our prior witnesses, Mr. Chesser.
For the reasons I have given, the railroad employees represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees endorse the proposed legislation with the suggested amendments proposed on behalf of the Railway Labor Executives' Association and its constituent organizations.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to present this statement and for your attention to my remarks.
(The documents referred to follow :)
TABLE 1-MAINTENANCE OF WAY HOURS OF SERVICE PER MILE OF ROAD OPERATED AND AVERAGE MILES OF
ROAD OPERATED PER EMPLOYEE-DESIGNATED CLASSES, SELECTED YEARS, CLASS I RAILWAYS IN THE UNITED STATES
1 16 maintenance-of-way classifications.
TABLE 2.-ACCIDENTS INVOLVING HIGHWAY TRUCKS OPERATED BY CARRIERS IN MAINTENANCE-OF-WAY WORK
1962 THROUGH JANUARY 1965
Description of accident
Employees Killed Injured
Jan. 3, 1962 B. &0.
Collision with automobile.... Jan. 5. 1962 A.T. & S.F.
Removing truck from snow drift. Jan. 9. 1962 Southern
Vehicle left highway.. Jan. 19, 1962 Central Railroad Co. of New Jersey.. Trackman fell trom truck. Feb. 10, 1962 B. &0....
Trackman lacerated hand severely on cross
cut saw when truck lurched. Do... Union Pacific.
Foreman slipped getting out of truck. Feb. 13, 1962 Missouri Pacific.
Collision with automobile. Feb. 14, 1962 Boston & Maine.
do.. Feb. 21, 1962 Southern...
Truck overturned on wet pavement. Feb. 28, 1962 Pittsburgh & Lake Erie.
Carpenter injured when truck lurched and
he hit hip on planking. Mar. 14, 1962 Southern Pacific.
Extra gang man injured when truck lurched.. Mar. 15, 1962 Long Island..
Sectionman injured when thrown from
bench striking another bench. Apr. 15, 1962 N.Y.C.
Truck struck by engine.. Apr. 20, 1962 G.C. & S.F
Sectionman fell from truck while sweeping
out bed of truck. May 9, 1962 B. & A.
Truck wrecked when rear tire blew.... June 6, 1962 Reading
Employee thrown against loose tools on
floor when brakes were applied suddenly. Southern..
Truck struck in rear by tractor-trailer truck. June 25, 1962 Chicago & North Western.. Driver lost control when rear tire blew.. June 27, 1962 Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy... Sectionman fell over left side of flat truck
when truck turned right and was killed. July 10, 1962 Southern Pacific.
Collison with automobile. July 25, 1962 L. & N...
Truck struck mud on highway and skidded
into ditch. Aug. 29, 1962 Chicago & North Western
Collision with automobile Aug. 31, 1962 Southern.
Collision with another truck Sept. 18, 1962 Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific. Collision with automobile.. Sept. 25, 1962 Southern Pacific.
Truck turned over when steering mecha
nism failed. Sept. 27, 1962 Great Northern.
Struck by train.. Oct. 1, 1962 Missouri Pacific..
Truck overturned in avoiding collision with
automobile. Oct. 9, 1962 Chicago & North Western.
Collision with automobile
Trackman fell out of truck when driver
slammed on brakes. Oct. 16, 1962 Chesapeake & Ohio.
Collision with automobile. Nov. 6, 1962 Baltimore & Ohio.
Collision with another truck. Do... Pennsylvania
Collision with automobile.. Dec. 14, 1962 Seaboard Air Line
Collision with school bus. Dec. 6, 1962 Pennsylvania.
Collision with automobile. Jan. 2, 1963 Chesapeake & Ohio..
Truck skidded on ice and turned over. Jan. 3, 1963 Missouri Pacific..
Live electric wire fell on truck. Jan. 15, 1963 Pennsylvania.
Ccllision with another truck.. Jan. 21, 1963 Union Pacific.
Collision with automobile.. Feb. 4, 1963 do..
Truck wrecked when it swerved to avoid
collision with automobile, Feb. 18, 1963 Central Railroad Co. of New Jersey - Trackman injured when wheel of backing
truck spun and kicked out loose rail. Feb. 25, 1963 Northern Pacific...
Truck went out of control on slippery high
way. Apr. 3, 1963 Southern....
Truck went out of control and struck
embankment. Apr. 25, 1963 Southern Pacific..
Ring caught in sideboard of truck as em
ployee descended-finger amputated. May 7, 1963 Union Pacific....
Empty propane tank rolled against em
ployee's leg while riding in truck. May 13, 1963 Boston & Maine...
Truck left road when tie rod broke. May 17, 1963 Baltimore & Ohio.
Truck struck tree...... May 21, 1963 Texas & Pac fic.
Extra gang man injured in jumping when
truck turned on its side. June 10, 1963 New York Central..
"Stiff leg" attached to back of truck dis
lodged and came through rear window. June 14, 1963 Belt Railway Co. of Chicago. Collision with engine.-June 19, 1963 Boston & Albany..
Collision with telephone pole.
Truck turned on side.
do.. July 18, 1963 illinois Centarl.
Struck by which hook while leading tools in
truck. Aug. 2, 1963 Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal.. Hand pinned to seat by spike keg when
driver made sudden stop. DO....... Portland Terminal......
Employe struck head on angle iron when
driver made sudden stop. Aug. 16, 1963 Boston & Maine..
Collision with automobile.. Aug. 19, 1963 Delaware & Hudson..
Truck failed to negotiate curve....
TABLE 2.-ACCIDENTS INVOLVING HIGHWAY TRUCKS OPERATED BY CARRIERS IN MAINTENANCE-OF-WAY WORK
1962 THROUGH JANUARY 1965-Continued
Description of accident
Aug. 27, 1963 Georgia & Florida...--
Motor truck struck feet of driver who was
lying on ground under truck adjusting
brakes. Sept. 5, 1963 Kansas City Southern..
Truck swerved on wet slick road. Sept. 9, 1963 Ann Arbor...
Sectionman bounced off seat when truck
hit bump. Sept. 11, 1963 Pennsylvania
Truck stopped suddenly on highway..
Collision with automobile...
pinning carpenter's knee against front of
truck. Oct. 31, 1963 Detroit Terminal...
Trackman tripped while alighting from
truck. Nov. 11, 1963 Atlantic Coast Line.
Collision with automobile... Nov. 13, 1963 Pacific Electric..
Sectionman fell to ground when tailgate of
Collision with trailer-tractor.
Collision with another truck. Feb. 10, 1964 Missouri Pacific.
Employee riding in back of truck injured
when truck made sudden stop. Feb. 25, 1964 Union Pacific.
Truck shelter bounced off truck bed. Feb. 26, 1964 Southern Pacific
Lost control of truck. Feb. 27, 1964 Atlantic Coast Line.
Highway accident. Mar. 3, 1964 Missouri Pacific.
do.... Do.. Southern Pacific.
Collision with automobile.
Employee severed finger on grab iron in...
getting out of truck. Mar. 24, 1964 do.
Driver lost control of truck..
Truck sideswiped by another vehicle..
Driver lost control of truck. May 25, 1964 Soo Line
do.. June 1, 1964 Chicago Burlington & Quincy..... Crossmember of tailgate struck legDo... Pennsylvania
Truck accident June 8, 1964 Central of Georgia.
Truck overturned in ditch. June 9, 1964 Port Terminal Railroad.
Collision with trailer-tractor. June 19, 1964 Great Northern..
Sectionman fell from truck, July 10, 1964 Illinois Central...
Truck struck side of bridge in attempting to
avoid collision. July 21, 1964 Western Pacific...
Truck turned over in attempting to avoid
collision July 22, 1964 L. & N...-..
Truck ran into ditch... July 29, 1964 Pennsylvania..
Tractor-trailer upset on top of company
truck. Aug. 3, 1964 A.T. & S.F..
Collision with another vehicle. Do... New York Central.
Truck ran off on shoulder of road. Aug. 14, 1964 --...do...
Trackman injured while riding in rear of
truck. Nov. 15, 1964 Central of Georgia.
Highway accident.... Nov. 16, 1964 Michigan Central.
do... Nov. 30, 1964 Lehigh Valley.
Collision with automobile. Dec. 24, 1964 Southern Pacific.
Employe injured when he alighted from
truck on uneven ground. Dec. 25, 1964 .....do..
Extra gangman injured when truck struck
hole in road. Jan. 1965 Atlantic Coast Line
Collision with school bus on narrow bridge. Feb. 3. 1965 Southern...
Collision with another truck. Apr. 17, 1965 Central of Georgia.
Truckdriver fell asleep at the wheel and
ran off the road into a ditch. May 3, 1965 Des Moines Union...
Slipped when getting off truck. June 3, 1965 Southern Pacific.
Fell from back of truck.. June 12, 1965 Union Pacific..
Highway accident... July 6, 1965 Gult, Mobile & Ohio..
do.. July 14, 1965 Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe... Section truck driving on freeway was struck
by auto throwing driver and passenger
about in the cab. July 27, 1965 St. Louis-San Francisco
and overturned on highway. Nov. 22, 1965 New York Central.
Truck towline broke... Dec. 17, 1965 Missouri Pacific..
Highway accident Dec. 28, 1965 Western Pacific.