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Title 49 Part 243 → Subpart C

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter II → Part 243 → Subpart C

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 243 → Subpart C

e-CFR data is current as of November 8, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 243 → Subpart C


Title 49: Transportation
PART 243—TRAINING, QUALIFICATION, AND OVERSIGHT FOR SAFETY-RELATED RAILROAD EMPLOYEES


Subpart C—Program Implementation and Oversight Requirements

§243.201   Employee qualification requirements.

(a) Designating existing employees:

(1) By no later than September 1, 2020, each employer with 400,000 total employee work hours annually or more in operation as of January 1, 2020, shall declare the designation of each of its existing safety-related railroad employees by occupational category or subcategory, and only permit designated employees to perform safety-related service in that occupational category or subcategory. The Associate Administrator may extend this period based on a written request.

(2) By no later than January 1, 2022, each employer with less than 400,000 total employee work hours annually in operation as of January 1, 2021, shall declare the designation of each of its existing safety-related railroad employees by occupational category or subcategory, and only permit designated employees to perform safety-related service in that occupational category or subcategory. The Associate Administrator may extend this period based on a written request.

(b) Except for an employer subject to the requirement in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an employer commencing operations after January 1, 2020, shall declare the designation of each of its existing safety-related railroad employees by occupational category or subcategory before beginning operations, and only permit designated employees to perform safety-related service in that category or subcategory. Any person designated shall have met the requirements for newly hired employees or those assigned new safety-related duties in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Newly hired employees or those assigned new safety-related duty:. The following requirements apply to qualifying a safety-related railroad employee who, subsequent to the employer's designation in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, is newly hired or is to engage in a safety-related task not associated with the employee's previous training.

(1) Prior to an employee becoming a qualified member of an occupational category or subcategory, the employer shall require a safety-related railroad employee who is newly hired or is to engage in safety-related duties not associated with the employee's previous training to successfully complete the formal training curriculum for that category or subcategory of safety-related railroad employee. Successful completion of the formal training curriculum includes passing any required examinations covering the skills and knowledge the employee will need to possess in order to perform the safety-related duties necessary to be a member of the occupational category or subcategory.

(2) If the training curriculum includes OJT, the employee shall demonstrate, to the satisfaction of a designated instructor, OJT proficiency by successfully completing the safety-related tasks necessary to become a qualified member of the occupational category or subcategory. However, as part of the OJT process and prior to completing such training and passing the field evaluation, a person may perform such tasks under the direct onsite observation of any qualified person, provided the qualified person has been advised of the circumstances and is capable of intervening if an unsafe act or non-compliance with Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, or orders is observed. An employee designated to provide formal training to other employees, and who is not a designated instructor, shall be qualified on the safety-related topics or tasks in accordance with the employer's training program and the requirements of this part.

(d) Employees previously qualified or trained, but not by the current employer: If an employee has received relevant qualification or training for a particular occupational category or subcategory through participation in a FRA-approved training program submitted by an entity other than the employee's current employer, that training shall satisfy the requirements of this part:

(1) Provided that:

(i) A current record of training is obtained from that other entity; or

(ii) When a current record of training is unavailable from that other entity, an employer performs testing to ensure the employee has the knowledge necessary to be a member of that category or subcategory of safety-related railroad employee; and

(2) When the employee, in the previous 180 days, has either not performed the safety-related duties or not received initial or periodic training for an occupational category or subcategory, the employer shall perform testing to ensure the employee has retained the knowledge necessary to remain a member of that occupational category or subcategory. In the situation where an employee's records are unavailable and the employee is subject to testing under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section, no additional testing is required.

(e) Refresher training requirements and options:

(1) Beginning January 1, 2022, each employer with 400,000 total employee work hours annually or more shall deliver refresher training at an interval not to exceed 3 calendar years from the date of an employee's last training event, except where refresher training is specifically required more frequently in accordance with this chapter. If the last training event occurs before FRA's approval of the employer's training program, the employer shall provide refresher training either within 3 calendar years from that prior training event or no later than December 31, 2024. Each employer shall ensure that, as part of each employee's refresher training, the employee is trained and qualified on the application of any Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders the person is required to comply with, as well as any relevant railroad rules and procedures promulgated to implement those Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders.

(2) Beginning May 1, 2023, each employer with less than 400,000 total employee work hours annually shall deliver refresher training at an interval not to exceed 3 calendar years from the date of an employee's last training event, except where refresher training is specifically required more frequently in accordance with this chapter. If the last training event occurs before FRA's approval of the employer's training program, the employer shall provide refresher training either within 3 calendar years from that prior training event or no later than December 31, 2025. Each employer shall ensure that, as part of each employee's refresher training, the employee is trained and qualified on the application of any Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders the person is required to comply with, as well as any relevant railroad rules and procedures promulgated to implement those Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders.

[79 FR 66501, Nov. 7, 2014, as amended at 82 FR 20553, May 3, 2017; 83 FR 18459, Apr. 27, 2018]

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§243.203   Records.

(a) General requirements for qualification status records; accessibility. Each employer shall maintain records to demonstrate the qualification status of each safety-related railroad employee that it employs.

(1) The records for former safety-related railroad employees shall be accessible for 6 years at the employer's system headquarters after the employment relationship ends.

(2) Current employee records shall be accessible at the employer's system headquarters.

(b) Employee information. The records shall include the following information concerning each such employee:

(1) The name of the employee;

(2) Occupational category or subcategory designations for which the employee is deemed qualified;

(3) The dates that each formal training course was completed;

(4) The title of each formal training course successfully completed;

(5) If the safety-related railroad employee attended safety-related training offered by a business, a training organization, or a learning institution with an FRA-approved program, a copy of the transcript or appropriate record from that business, training organization, or learning institution;

(6) The employee's OJT performance, which shall include the unique name or identifier of the OJT program component in accordance with §243.103, the date the OJT program component was successfully completed, and the identification of the person(s) determining that the employee successfully completed all OJT training necessary to be considered qualified to perform the safety-related tasks identified with the occupational categories or subcategories for which the employee is designated in accordance with the program required by this part;

(7) The date that the employee's status is determined to be qualified and the employee is designated to perform the safety-related duties identified with any particular occupational categories or subcategories, in accordance with the program required by this part;

(8) If an employee's qualification status was transferred from another entity with an approved program, a copy of the training record from that other entity; and

(9) Any additional information required by this part.

(c) Record accessibility for other than individual employee records. Except for records demonstrating the qualification status of each safety-related railroad employee as described in paragraph (b) of this section or otherwise specified in this part, each test, inspection, annual review, or other event record required by this part shall be accessible for 3 calendar years after the end of the calendar year to which the event relates. Each employer shall make these records accessible at one headquarters location within the United States, including, but not limited to, a railroad's system headquarters, a holding company's headquarters, a joint venture's headquarters, a contractor's principal place of business or other headquarters located where the contractor is incorporated. This requirement does not prohibit an employer with divisions from also maintaining any of these records at any division headquarters.

(d) Availability of records. Each employer, training organization, or learning institution required to maintain records under this part shall:

(1) Make all records available for inspection and copying/photocopying to representatives of FRA, upon request during normal business hours; and

(2) Make an employee's records available for inspection and copying/photocopying to that employee, former employee, or such person's representative upon written authorization by such employee during normal business hours.

(e) Electronic recordkeeping. Nothing in this section precludes an employer, a training organization, or a learning institution from maintaining the information required to be retained under this part in an electronic format provided that:

(1) The employer, training organization, or learning institution maintains an information technology security program adequate to ensure the integrity of the electronic data storage system, including the prevention of unauthorized access to the program logic or individual records;

(2) The program and data storage system must be protected by a security system that utilizes an employee identification number and password, or a comparable method, to establish appropriate levels of program access meeting all of the following standards:

(i) No two individuals have the same electronic identity; and

(ii) A record cannot be deleted or altered by any individual after the record is certified by the employee who created the record;

(3) Any amendment to a record is either:

(i) Electronically stored apart from the record that it amends; or

(ii) Electronically attached to the record as information without changing the original record;

(4) Each amendment to a record uniquely identifies the person making the amendment;

(5) The system employed by the employer, training organization, or learning institution for data storage permits reasonable access and retrieval of the information in usable format when requested to furnish data by FRA representatives; and

(6) Information retrieved from the system can be easily produced in a printed format which can be readily provided to FRA representatives in a timely manner and authenticated by a designated representative of the railroad as a true and accurate copy of the railroad's records if requested to do so by FRA representatives.

(f) Transfer of records. If an employer ceases to do business and its assets will be transferred to a successor employer, it shall transfer to the successor employer all records required to be maintained under this part, and the successor employer shall retain them for the remainder of the period prescribed in this part.

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§243.205   Periodic oversight.

(a) General. As part of the program required in accordance with this part, an employer shall adopt and comply with a program to conduct periodic oversight tests and inspections to determine if safety-related railroad employees comply with Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders particular to FRA-regulated personal and work group safety. The program of periodic oversight shall commence on the day the employer files its program with FRA pursuant to §243.101(a) or on the day the employer commences operations pursuant to §243.101(b). The data gathered through the testing and inspection components of the program shall be used to determine whether systemic performance gaps exist, and to determine if modifications to the training component of the program are appropriate to close those gaps.

(b) Locomotive engineer and conductor oversight exception. Periodic oversight specified in this section is not required for employees covered by parts 240 and 242 of this chapter, but a railroad shall use results of the assessments required by those parts to determine if changes in its training programs are necessary to close any proficiency gaps found during those assessments.

(c) Railroad oversight. Each railroad shall identify supervisory employees, by category or subcategory, responsible for conducting periodic oversight tests and inspections for the safety-related railroad employees that it authorizes to perform safety-related duties on its property, except a railroad is not required to:

(1) Provide oversight for a contractor's safety-related railroad employees if that contractor is required to conduct its own periodic oversight because it meets the criteria specified in paragraph (g) of this section;

(2) Provide oversight for categories or subcategories of a contractor's safety-related railroad employees if the railroad does not employ supervisory employees who are qualified as safety-related railroad employees in those categories or subcategories; or

(3) Provide oversight for any supervisory employee identified by the railroad as responsible for conducting oversight in accordance with this section.

(d) Operational test exception for a railroad. A railroad is not required to perform operational tests of safety-related railroad employees employed by a contractor.

(e) Railroad oversight for contractors. A railroad may choose to require supervisory employees to perform oversight of safety-related railroad employees employed by a contractor either:

(1) When oversight test and inspection sessions are scheduled specifically to determine if safety-related employees are in compliance with Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders particular to FRA-regulated personal and work group safety; or

(2) When a qualified railroad supervisory employee's duties place this person in the vicinity of one or more safety-related railroad employees employed by a contractor and performing the oversight would result in minimal disruption of this person's other assigned duties.

(f) Railroad's duty to notify contractor of non-compliance. A railroad that finds evidence of contractor employee non-compliance with Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders particular to FRA-regulated personal and work group safety during the periodic oversight shall provide that employee and that employee's employer with details of the non-compliance.

(g) Contractor oversight. Each contractor shall conduct periodic oversight tests and inspections of its safety-related railroad employees provided:

(1) A contractor employs more than 15 safety-related railroad employees;

(2) A contractor relies on training it directly provides to its own employees as the basis for qualifying those employees to perform safety-related duties on a railroad; and

(3) A contractor employs supervisory safety-related railroad employees capable of performing oversight.

(h) Oversight divided by agreement. Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (g) of this section, a railroad and a contractor may agree that the contractor will provide the oversight by specifying in the program that the railroad has trained the contractor employees responsible for training and oversight.

(i) Detailed records required. Each employer that conducts periodic oversight in accordance with this section must keep a record of the date, time, place, and result of each test or inspection. The records shall specify each person administering tests and inspections, and each person tested. The record shall also provide a method to record whether the employee complied with the monitored duties, and any interventions used to remediate non-compliance. Modifications of the program required by §217.9 of this chapter may be used in lieu of this oversight program, provided a railroad specifies it has done so in its program submitted in accordance with this part.

(j) Additional records requirement. Records required under this section are subject to the requirements of §243.203.

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§243.207   Annual review.

(a) The purpose of this review is to determine if knowledge or performance gaps exist in the application of Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders. This section shall apply to each railroad once a program has been approved by FRA in accordance with this part. This section does not apply to a railroad with less than 400,000 total employee work hours annually. This section does not apply to employers other than railroads except as specified in paragraph (f) of this section.

(b) Except as provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, each railroad that is required to conduct periodic oversight in accordance with §243.205 is also required to conduct an annual review, as provided in this section, and shall retain, at its system headquarters, one copy of the written annual review.

(c) Each railroad shall designate a person(s) who shall conduct a written annual review. The annual review shall be designed to identify knowledge or performance gaps in occupational categories and determine whether adjustments to the training component of the program are the appropriate intervention to close those gaps or otherwise improve the effectiveness of the program. Such review shall include analysis of the following data:

(1) Periodic oversight data required by §243.205;

(2) Reportable accident/incident data as defined in part 225 of this chapter;

(3) FRA inspection report data;

(4) Employee training feedback received through a course evaluation process, if such feedback is available; and

(5) Feedback received from labor representatives, if such feedback is available.

(d) Based upon the results of the annual review, the designated person(s) shall coordinate any necessary adjustments to the initial and refresher training programs. At the railroad's option, the annual review required under this section may be conducted in conjunction with any periodic review required under part 217 of this chapter.

(e) If a railroad utilizes a contractor that directly trains its own safety-related railroad employees, the railroad shall notify the contractor of the relevant training program adjustments made to the railroad's program in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(f) A contractor shall use any information provided by a railroad to adjust its training specific to the Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders particular to FRA-regulated personal and work group safety.

(g) Prior to September 1 of each calendar year, each railroad to which this section applies shall complete its annual review for the previous calendar year.

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§243.209   Railroad maintained list of contractors utilized.

(a) Each railroad utilizing contractors to supply the railroad with safety-related railroad employees shall maintain a list, at its system headquarters, with information regarding each contractor utilized unless:

(1) The railroad qualifies each of the contractor's safety-related railroad employees utilized; and

(2) The railroad maintains the training records for each of the contractor's safety-related railroad employees utilized.

(b) The listing required by paragraph (a) of this section shall include:

(1) The full corporate or business name of the contractor;

(2) The contractor's primary business and email address; and

(3) The contractor's primary telephone number.

(c) The information required by this section shall be continuously updated as additional contractors are utilized, and no contractor information shall be deleted from the list unless the contractor has not been utilized for at least 3 years from the end of the calendar year the contractor was last utilized.

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