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Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 240Subpart B → §240.121

Title 49: Transportation
Subpart B—Component Elements of the Certification Process

§240.121   Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data.

(a) Each railroad's program shall include criteria and procedures implementing this section.

(b) Fitness requirement. In order to be currently certified as a locomotive engineer, except as permitted by paragraph (e) of this section, a person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards prescribed in this section and appendix F to this part. It is recommended that each test conducted pursuant to this section should be performed according to any directions supplied by the manufacturer of such test and any American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards that are applicable.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (e), each person shall have visual acuity that meets or exceeds the following thresholds:

(1) For distant viewing either

(i) Distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or

(ii) Distant visual acuity separately corrected to at least 20/40 (Snellen) with corrective lenses and distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses;

(2) A field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye; and

(3) The ability to recognize and distinguish between the colors of railroad signals as demonstrated by successfully completing one of the tests in appendix F to this part.

(d) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, each person shall have hearing acuity that meets or exceeds the following thresholds when tested by use of an audiometric device (calibrated to American National Standard Specification for Audiometers, S3.6-1969): the person does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without use of a hearing aid.

(e) A person not meeting the thresholds in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section shall, upon request, be subject to further medical evaluation by a railroad's medical examiner to determine that person's ability to safely operate a locomotive. In accordance with the guidance prescribed in appendix F to this part, a person is entitled to one retest without making any showing and to another retest if the person provides evidence substantiating that circumstances have changed since the last test to the extent that the person could now arguably operate a locomotive or train safely. The railroad shall provide its medical examiner with a copy of this part, including all appendices. If, after consultation with one of the railroad's designated supervisors of locomotive engineers, the medical examiner concludes that, despite not meeting the threshold(s) in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, the person has the ability to safely operate a locomotive, the person may be certified as a locomotive engineer and such certification conditioned on any special restrictions the medical examiner determines in writing to be necessary.

(f) As a condition of maintaining certification, each certified locomotive engineer shall notify his or her employing railroad's medical department or, if no such department exists, an appropriate railroad official if the person's best correctable vision or hearing has deteriorated to the extent that the person no longer meets one or more of the prescribed vision or hearing standards or requirements of this section. This notification is required prior to any subsequent operation of a locomotive or train which would require a certified locomotive engineer.

[56 FR 28254, June 19, 1991, as amended at 64 FR 60992, Nov. 8, 1999]

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