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Changes to Canadian railway regulations will improve employee safety

Posted: 31 May 2019 | | No comments yet

In a bid to improve the railway safety across Canada, the Government has released plans to improve employee safety with a proposed Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder regulation.

Changes to Canadian railway regulations will improve employee safety

A safe, efficient and reliable rail system is key for transporting passengers across Canada’s broad landscape and for moving Canadian goods to market. The Government of Canada is taking key steps to improve railway safety and reduce the likelihood of future accidents.

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, has announced the publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, of proposed Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations that specify the technical requirements for rail companies to install these devices on-board their locomotives.

By providing accident investigators with insight into crew communications and actions, locomotive voice and video recorders can help improve rail safety by reducing the risk of future accidents. Information from these locomotive voice and video recorders can also be used by rail companies to identify and manage safety risks.

The proposed Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations reflect a careful balance between measures to increase safety benefits, while safeguarding the privacy rights of railway employees. This includes information that Transport Canada obtained from key stakeholders and partners, including rail companies, unions, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Canada’s Labour Program, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

The proposed regulations align with the Government of Canada’s commitment to enhance railway safety. They also address outstanding recommendations raised by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

A 60-day public consultation period follows the pre-publication of the Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations. The feedback that is collected will be considered in the development of the final regulations.

Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, said: “Understanding how a railway crew communicated and acted immediately before a railway accident is crucial for investigators. Locomotive voice and video recorders will provide the necessary information to help better protect Canadians, their families, the communities along Canada’s rail corridors, and railway employees.”

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