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Mr. HARVEY. Is there anywhere in attachment C-2 where this is further broken down to show which of these accidents are accidents due to rail safety, to the bumping of cars and this sort of thing as contrasted with industrial safety which you said in your statment was not included in this particular bill?
My point is, that earlier you excluded the bill before the Education and Labor Committee and said you were not attempting to reach into that area of legislation but now you are citing us figures based upon industry safety generally to support this bill here.
My question is: Is there anywhere in your figures a further breakdown separating these two?
Mr. Lang. We can further break it down but let me reiterate again a majority of these are incurred by train operating personnel who do not fall into anything that can be called industrial safety.
(The information requested follows:)
EMPLOYEE-ON-DUTY CASUALTIES RESULTING FROM TRAIN, TRAIN-SERVICE, AND NONTRAIN ACCIDENTS, 1961-67
Total employees on duty casualties....
Percentage of casualties to total employee
casualties train accidents...
1 Nontrain covers accidents and casualties not involving movement of locomotives, cars and trains.
in attachment C-2). Attachment C-2 (class I including switching and terminal railroads
Mr. HARVEY. Are the railroads included in the industrial labor safety bill before the Education and Labor Committee?
Mr. Lang. They will be as that bill is in its present form. As I understand, they will be to the extent that our present authority does not cover them, and our present authority does not cover the field entirely as has been indicated in my testimony. Mr. HARVEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Stuckey. Mr. STUCKEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Lang, I would like to pursue a little further the question that it would make it a lot easier for us to go about marking this up and that is the effort that has been made between management and the unions and the railroad administration of working out as many of the differences as can be done before we do try and come up with some type of bill.
Has an effort been made in this area ?
Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. We are making a very determined effort now. We feel that the Interstate Commerce Commission's approach to railroad safety regulation was too much one of mere enforcer and that there was not adequate communication and discussion and interchange between management, labor and the Bureau of Railroad Safety in attempting to eliminate the safety problems rather than merely trying to find railroads in violation of regulations.
So, we have already, I think, been successful in reorienting our thinking to a very considerable extent and we intend to go further in that direction. Our interest is not in finding railroads in violation; it is in preventing accidents.
This is not an adversary sort of situation where we are acting as policemen trying to catch them doing something wrong.
Mr. STUCKEY. So, you think it has made it possible where all concerned will be able to get together where we cannot cover the bill acceptable to all parties?
Mr.LANG. I would hope so.
Mr. LANG. Yes, sir; and will be regardless of the fate of this legislation. We feel very strongly that we can do a much better job than has been done in the past in this regard. Mr. STUCKEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Watson. Mr. Watson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Lang, I can appreciate some of the problems that you had this morning but I also hope that you appreciate the fact that this committee is rather gun shy at this point inasmuch as the Secretary of Transportation made this statement a couple of weeks ago accusing this committee of being worse than an empty gesture, as a dangerous deception.
So, inasmuch as your boss has referred to this committee's action as a deception on the American people, you can appreciate that we are trying to look at this rather closely so that we would not justify such an accusation on the part of the Secretary.
You say primarily you are not going to deal with qualifications of employees other than whether or not they are physically able to perform a job as it relates to safety.
I assume, further, that if a union contract provides that an employee can continue on a specific job, perhaps with corrective vision, that you would not supersede that contract, or would you have the authority under this legislation to supersede any such contract?
Mr. Lang. I think that we would have the authority to say that an employee was not physically qualified.
Mr. Watson. Even if the contract worked out between the employees and the employer concluded otherwise? In other words, you could disrupt the contract if the Secretary felt that this employee was not qualified ?
Mr. LANG. I don't think I like the word "disrupt” in this context because no such regulations, if any were ever written, would be written without the full participation of both management and the employees. Obviously, this would be a very sensitive kind of a problem area to get into and we would exercise unusual caution in being sure that our standards, if any, were not arbitrary,
Mr. Watson. Now, I assume that the thrust of this will go toward the safety of equipment and such as that. I believe earlier you mentioned there were a number of derailments because of axle failure or wheel failure.
Mr. LANG. That is correct.
Mr. WATSON. I notice on the last exhibit, D-2, entitled "Locomotive Accidents and Casualties Caused by Failures of Locomotive Parts or Appurtenances.” That table would seem to totally contradict what you stated earlier because it shows that there has been a 25-percent decrease in the number of accidents because of parts failures since 1961.
Are you aware of that table? Is that table accurate, or again is it a relative matter and you will have to explain.
Mr. Lang. No, sir. Let me make two comments on it.
The table as it is here before you is entirely accurate. The locomotive and all of the matters that might cause accidents as shown in this table is completely and totally under our present authority and we have a very extensive set of regulations and a very extensive enforcement division to see that those regulations are complied with in the locomotive. The locomotive is the one area where we have, for practical purposes, total and complete authority today.
I might make one further comment here. Our preliminary figures for 1967, unfortunately show that there has been an upturn in the number of accidents caused by locomotive failures.
I would also point out, however, that as important as the locomotive is in railroad operations and as important a potential source of accident, these numbers constitute an almost vanishingly small percentage of the total number of train accidents that occur, that is to say, that the locomotives cause almost no accidents relative to other causes and here we have complete regulatory authority today.
Mr. Watson. I ask you one final question in reference to a question propounded to you by my colleague from North Carolina, Mr. Broyhill, in reference to the criminal provisions for the assaulting of your inspectors and such as that. You mentioned that you had heard that the ICC had one or two. I believe you made the statement that you had never had any of your inspectors assaulted or denied the right to inspect any of these vehicles by the carriers.
Mr. Lang. There have been attempts made to deny them the right to inspect vehicles but we know of no instance in which the denial was accompanied with the use of force.
Mr. WATSON. But, yet, you think it would be necessary to preempt the rights of the localities in this particular criminal field, to give the Federal Government the jurisdiction, as apparently we imply, that would discredit all law enforcement procedures on a local level and make it all Federal ?
Do you feel on the basis of that limited information that you have that it justifies the inclusion of such drastic provisions?
Mr. LANG. I think you would have to be the judge; the committee would have to be the judge as to how drastic they are.
We recommend them only because this is a problem which the Commission has run up against before and we wanted to make this bill as complete as we could.
Mr. Watson. But it is a very rare proposition. I assure you the committee will have the final say but we don't want to be accused by the Secretary again of being deceptive to the American public.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Adams. Mr. ADAMs. Mr. Lang, in subsection (b), the Secretary shall prescribe as interim Federal rail safety regulations the specific safety requirements which will remain in effect for 2 years, as I read the bill.
Is this patterned on any other Federal law, or is this something novel?
Mr. LANG. Well, this, I think, is a little bit different situation than we would encounter in any other safety statutes because of the fact that we do have this collection of statutes already on the books and have regulations in force under those statutes.
We have to provide for their continuation during the period that would be required to create any new regulations under legislation such as that.
Mr. ADAMS. I see.
In other words, this section then is to put into effect a continuation of your present standards while you are developing the others.
Then in section 5, would you explain to me what you mean by this section? Again I ask just for information as to your type of operation. The section says it does not exempt any person from any liability which would otherwise accrue except to the extent that the action creates any such standard rule or regulation.
Mr. LANG. Mr. Adams, if I might, as was already pointed out to me, I did a very inept job of trying to explain this before you were able to be here. I am going to try to submit a better explanation for the record. Mr. Adams. Thank you. I have no further questions. The CHAIRMAN, Mr. Brotzman. Mr. BROTZMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Lang, who drafted the legislation? Mr. Lang. There were a great many people involved in the drafting of this legislation, Mr. Brotzman.
Mr. BROTZMAN. Who is responsible for it? Are you?
Mr. Lang. The Secretary is responsible for it; I am here testifying for him.