Title 49

SECTION 243.101

243.101 Employer program required.

§ 243.101 Employer program required.

(a)(1) Effective January 1, 2020, each Class I railroad, and each intercity or commuter passenger railroad conducting operations subject to this part with 400,000 total employee work hours annually or more, shall submit, adopt, and comply with a training program for its safety-related railroad employees.

(2) Effective May 1, 2021, each employer conducting operations subject to this part not covered by paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall submit, adopt, and comply with a training program for its safety-related railroad employees.

(b) Except for an employer subject to the requirement in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an employer commencing operations subject to this part after January 1, 2020, shall submit a training program for its safety-related railroad employees before commencing operations. Upon commencing operations, the employer shall adopt and comply with the training program.

(c) In the program required by this part, the employer shall:

(1) Classify its safety-related railroad employees in occupational categories or subcategories by craft, class, task, or other suitable terminology;

(2) Define the occupational categories or subcategories of safety-related railroad employees. The definition of each category or subcategory shall include a list of the Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders that the employee is required to comply with, based on the employee's assignments and duties, broken down at a minimum to the applicable part of the Code of Federal Regulations, section of the United States Code, or citation to an order. The listing of the Federal requirements shall contain the descriptive title of each law, regulation, or order;

(3) Create tables or utilize other suitable formats which summarize the information required in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section, segregated by major railroad departments (e.g., Operations, Maintenance of Way, Maintenance of Equipment, Signal and Communications). After listing the major departments, the tables or other formats should list the categories and subcategories of safety-related railroad employees within those departments;

(4) Develop procedures to design and develop key learning points for any task-based or knowledge-based training; and

(5) Determine how training shall be structured, developed, and delivered, including an appropriate combination of classroom, simulator, computer-based, correspondence, OJT, or other formal training. The curriculum shall be designed to impart knowledge of, and ability to comply with applicable Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders, as well as any relevant railroad rules and procedures promulgated to implement those applicable Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders.

(d) On-the-job (OJT) training requirements:

(1) If a training program has OJT, the OJT portion of the training program shall consist of the following three key components:

(i) A brief statement describing the tasks and related steps the employee learning the job shall be able to perform;

(ii) A statement of the conditions (prerequisites, tools, equipment, documentation, briefings, demonstrations, and practice) necessary for learning transfer; and

(iii) A statement of the standards by which proficiency is measured through a combination of task/step accuracy, completeness, and repetition.

(2) Prior to beginning the initial safety-related tasks associated with OJT exercises, employers shall make any relevant information or materials, such as operating rules, safety rules, or other rules available to employees involved for referencing.

(3) The tasks and related steps associated with OJT exercises for a particular category or subcategory of employee shall be maintained together in one manual, checklist, or similar document. This reference shall be made available to all employees involved in those OJT exercises.

(e) Contractor's responsibility to validate approved program to a railroad: A contractor that chooses to train its own safety-related railroad employees shall provide each railroad that utilizes it with a document indicating that the contractor's program of training was approved by FRA. A contractor is being utilized by a railroad when any of the contractor's employees conduct safety-related duties on behalf of the railroad and the railroad does not otherwise qualify those employees of the contractor that are allowed to perform those duties.

(f) Railroad's responsibility to retain contractor's validation of program: A railroad that chooses to utilize contractor employees to perform safety-related duties and relies on contractor-provided training as the basis for those employees' qualification to perform those duties shall retain a document from the contractor indicating that the contractor's program was approved by FRA. A copy of the document required in paragraph (e) of this section satisfies this requirement.

[79 FR 66501, Nov. 7, 2014, as amended at 82 FR 20552, May 3, 2017; 83 FR 18458, Apr. 27, 2018; 85 FR 13, Jan. 2, 2020]