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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 9, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 214 → Subpart B


Title 49: Transportation
PART 214—RAILROAD WORKPLACE SAFETY


Subpart B—Bridge Worker Safety Standards


Contents
§214.101   Purpose and scope.
§214.103   Fall protection, generally.
§214.105   Fall protection systems standards and practices.
§214.107   Working over or adjacent to water.
§214.109   Scaffolding.
§214.111   Personal protective equipment, generally.
§214.113   Head protection.
§214.115   Foot protection.
§214.117   Eye and face protection.

§214.101   Purpose and scope.

(a) The purpose of this subpart is to prevent accidents and casualties arising from the performance of work on railroad bridges.

(b) This subpart prescribes minimum railroad safety rules for railroad employees performing work on bridges. Each railroad and railroad contractor may prescribe additional or more stringent operating rules, safety rules, and other special instructions not inconsistent with this subpart.

(c) These provisions apply to all railroad employees, railroads, and railroad contractors performing work on railroad bridges.

(d) Any working conditions involving the protection of railroad employees working on railroad bridges not within the subject matter addressed by this chapter, including respiratory protection, hazard communication, hearing protection, welding and lead exposure standards, shall be governed by the regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

§214.103   Fall protection, generally.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section, when bridge workers work twelve feet or more above the ground or water surface, they shall be provided and shall use a personal fall arrest system or safety net system. All fall protection systems required by this section shall conform to the standards set forth in §214.105 of this subpart.

(b)(1) This section shall not apply if the installation of the fall arrest system poses a greater risk than the work to be performed. In any action brought by FRA to enforce the fall protection requirements, the railroad or railroad contractor shall have the burden of proving that the installation of such device poses greater exposure to risk than performance of the work itself.

(2) This section shall not apply to bridge workers engaged in inspection of railroad bridges conducted in full compliance with the following conditions:

(i) The railroad or railroad contractor has a written program in place that requires training in, adherence to, and use of safe procedures associated with climbing techniques and procedures to be used;

(ii) The bridge worker to whom this exception applies has been trained and qualified according to that program to perform bridge inspections, has been previously and voluntarily designated to perform inspections under the provision of that program, and has accepted the designation;

(iii) The bridge worker to whom this exception applies is familiar with the appropriate climbing techniques associated with all bridge structures the bridge worker is responsible for inspecting;

(iv) The bridge worker to whom this exception applies is engaged solely in moving on or about the bridge or observing, measuring and recording the dimensions and condition of the bridge and its components; and

(v) The bridge worker to whom this section applies is provided all equipment necessary to meet the needs of safety, including any specialized alternative systems required.

(c) This section shall not apply where bridge workers are working on a railroad bridge equipped with walkways and railings of sufficient height, width, and strength to prevent a fall, so long as bridge workers do not work beyond the railings, over the side of the bridge, on ladders or other elevation devices, or where gaps or holes exist through which a body could fall. Where used in place of fall protection as provided for in §214.105, this paragraph (c) is satisfied by:

(1) Walkways and railings meeting standards set forth in the American Railway Engineering Association's Manual for Railway Engineering; and

(2) Roadways attached to railroad bridges, provided that bridge workers on the roadway deck work or move at a distance six feet or more from the edge of the roadway deck, or from an opening through which a person could fall.

(d) This section shall not apply where bridge workers are performing repairs or inspections of a minor nature that are completed by working exclusively between the outside rails, including but not limited to, routine welding, spiking, anchoring, spot surfacing, and joint bolt replacement.

[67 FR 1906, Jan. 15, 2002]

§214.105   Fall protection systems standards and practices.

(a) General requirements. All fall protection systems required by this subpart shall conform to the following:

(1) Fall protection systems shall be used only for personal fall protection.

(2) Any fall protection system subjected to impact loading shall be immediately and permanently removed from service unless fully inspected and determined by a competent person to be undamaged and suitable for reuse.

(3) All fall protection system components shall be protected from abrasions, corrosion, or any other form of deterioration.

(4) All fall protection system components shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage, corrosion, mildew, and other deterioration. Defective components shall be permanently removed from service.

(5) Prior to use and after any component or system is changed, bridge workers shall be trained in the application limits of the equipment, proper hook-up, anchoring and tie-off techniques, methods of use, and proper methods of equipment inspection and storage.

(6) The railroad or railroad contractor shall provide for prompt rescue of bridge workers in the event of a fall.

(7) Connectors shall have a corrosion-resistant finish, and all surfaces and edges shall be smooth to prevent damage to interfacing parts of the system.

(8) Connectors shall be drop forged, pressed or formed steel, or made of equivalent-strength materials.

(9) Anchorages, including single- and double-head anchors, shall be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per bridge worker attached, or shall be designed, installed, and used under supervision of a qualified person as part of a complete personal fall protection system that maintains a safety factor of at least two.

(b) Personal fall arrest systems. All components of a personal fall arrest system shall conform to the following standards:

(1) Lanyards and vertical lifelines that tie off one bridge worker shall have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.

(2) Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards that automatically limit free fall distance to two feet or less shall have components capable of sustaining a minimum static tensile load of 3,000 pounds applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.

(3) Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards that do not limit free fall distance to two feet or less, ripstitch, and tearing and deformed lanyards shall be capable of withstanding 5,000 pounds applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.

(4) Horizontal lifelines shall be designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a competent person, as part of a complete personal fall arrest system that maintains a safety factor of at least two.

(5) Lifelines shall not be made of natural fiber rope.

(6) Body belts shall not be used as components of personal fall arrest systems.

(7) The personal fall arrest system shall limit the maximum arresting force on a bridge worker to 1,800 pounds when used with a body harness.

(8) The personal fall arrest system shall bring a bridge worker to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration distance a bridge worker travels to 3.5 feet.

(9) The personal fall arrest system shall have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of a bridge worker free falling a distance of six feet, or the free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less.

(10) The personal fall arrest system shall be arranged so that a bridge worker cannot free fall more than six feet and cannot contact the ground or any lower horizontal surface of the bridge.

(11) Personal fall arrest systems shall be worn with the attachment point of the body harness located in the center of the wearer's back near shoulder level, or above the wearer's head.

(12) When vertical lifelines are used, each bridge worker shall be provided with a separate lifeline.

(13) Devices used to connect to a horizontal lifeline that may become a vertical lifeline shall be capable of locking in either direction.

(14) Dee-rings and snap-hooks shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds without cracking, breaking, or taking permanent deformation.

(15) Dee-rings and snap-hooks shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 5,000 pounds.

(16) Snap-hooks shall not be connected to each other.

(17) Snap-hooks shall be dimensionally compatible with the member to which they are connected to prevent unintentional disengagement, or shall be a locking snap-hook designed to prevent unintentional disengagement.

(18) Unless of a locking type, snap-hooks shall not be engaged:

(i) Directly, next to a webbing, rope, or wire rope;

(ii) To each other;

(iii) To a dee-ring to which another snap-hook or other connector is attached;

(iv) To a horizontal lifeline; or

(v) To any object that is incompatibly shaped or dimensioned in relation to the snap-hook so that unintentional disengagement could occur.

(c) Safety net systems. Use of safety net systems shall conform to the following standards and practices:

(1) Safety nets shall be installed as close as practicable under the walking/working surface on which bridge workers are working, but shall not be installed more than 30 feet below such surface.

(2) If the distance from the working surface to the net exceeds 30 feet, bridge workers shall be protected by personal fall arrest systems.

(3) The safety net shall be installed such that any fall from the working surface to the net is unobstructed.

(4) Except as provided in this section, safety nets and net installations shall be drop-tested at the jobsite after initial installation and before being used as a fall protection system, whenever relocated, after major repair, and at six-month intervals if left in one place. The drop-test shall consist of a 400-pound bag of sand 30 inches, plus or minus two inches, in diameter dropped into the net from the highest (but not less than 312 feet) working surface on which bridge workers are to be protected.

(i) When the railroad or railroad contractor demonstrates that a drop-test is not feasible and, as a result, the test is not performed, the railroad or railroad contractor, or designated competent person, shall certify that the net and its installation are in compliance with the provisions of this section by preparing a certification record prior to use of the net.

(ii) The certification shall include an identification of the net, the date it was determined that the net was in compliance with this section, and the signature of the person making this determination. Such person's signature shall certify that the net and its installation are in compliance with this section. The most recent certification for each net installation shall be available at the jobsite where the subject net is located.

(5) Safety nets and their installations shall be capable of absorbing an impact force equal to that produced by the drop test specified in this section.

(6) The safety net shall be installed such that there is no contact with surfaces or structures below the net when subjected to an impact force equal to the drop test specified in this section.

(7) Safety nets shall extend outward from the outermost projection of the work surface as follows:

(i) When the vertical distance from the working level to the horizontal plane of the net is 5 feet or less, the minimum required horizontal distance of the outer edge of the net beyond the edge of the working surface is 8 feet.

(ii) When the vertical distance from the working level to the horizontal plane of the net is 5 feet, but less than 10 feet, the minimum required horizontal distance of the outer edge of the net beyond the edge of the working surface is 10 feet.

(iii) When the vertical distance from the working level to the horizontal plane of the net is more than 10 feet, the minimum required horizontal distance of the outer edge of the net beyond the edge of the working surface is 13 feet.

(8) Defective nets shall not be used. Safety nets shall be inspected at least once a week for mildew, wear, damage, and other deterioration. Defective components shall be removed permanently from service.

(9) Safety nets shall be inspected after any occurrence that could affect the integrity of the safety net system.

(10) Tools, scraps, or other materials that have fallen into the safety net shall be removed as soon as possible, and at least before the next work shift.

(11) Each safety net shall have a border rope for webbing with a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.

(12) The maximum size of each safety net mesh opening shall not exceed 36 square inches and shall not be longer than 6 inches on any side measured center-to-center of mesh ropes or webbing. All mesh crossing shall be secured to prevent enlargement of the mesh opening.

(13) Connections between safety net panels shall be as strong as integral net components and shall be spaced not more than 6 inches apart.

[67 FR 1906, Jan. 15, 2002; 67 FR 11055, Mar. 12, 2002]

§214.107   Working over or adjacent to water.

(a) Bridge workers working over or adjacent to water with a depth of four feet or more, or where the danger of drowning exists, shall be provided and shall use life vests or buoyant work vests in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard requirements in 46 CFR 160.047, 160.052, and 160.053. Life preservers in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard requirements in 46 CFR 160.055 shall also be within ready access. This section shall not apply to bridge workers using personal fall arrest systems or safety nets that comply with this subpart or to bridge workers who are working under the provisions of §214.103(b)(2), (c) or (d) of this subpart.

(b) Prior to each use, all flotation devices shall be inspected for defects that reduce their strength or buoyancy by designated individuals trained by the railroad or railroad contractor. Defective units shall not be used.

(c) Where life vests are required by paragraph (a) of this section, ring buoys with at least 90 feet of line shall be provided and readily available for emergency rescue operations. Distance between ring buoys shall not exceed 200 feet.

(d) Where life vests are required, at least one lifesaving skiff, inflatable boat, or equivalent device shall be immediately available. If it is determined by a competent person that environmental conditions, including weather, water speed, and terrain, merit additional protection, the skiff or boat shall be manned.

[70 FR 7050, Feb. 10, 2005]

§214.109   Scaffolding.

(a) Scaffolding used in connection with railroad bridge maintenance, inspection, testing, and construction shall be constructed and maintained in a safe condition and meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) Each scaffold and scaffold component, except suspension ropes and guardrail systems, but including footings and anchorage, shall be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to that scaffold or scaffold component.

(2) Guardrail systems shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 200 pounds applied within two inches of the top edge, in any outward or downward direction, at any point along the top edge.

(3) Top edge height of toprails, or equivalent guardrail system member, shall be 42 inches, plus or minus three inches. Supports shall be at intervals not to exceed eight feet. Toeboards shall be a minimum of four inches in height.

(4) Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, and equivalent structural members shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 150 pounds applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the midrail or other member.

(5) Midrails shall be installed at a height midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working level.

(b) Scaffolds shall not be altered or moved while they are occupied. This paragraph does not apply to vertical movements of mobile scaffolds that are designed to move vertically while occupied.

(c) An access ladder or equivalent safe access shall be provided.

(d) All exposed surfaces shall be prepared and cleared to prevent injury due to laceration, puncture, tripping, or falling hazard.

(e) All scaffold design, construction, and repair shall be completed by competent individuals trained and knowledgeable about design criteria, intended use, structural limitations, and procedures for proper repair.

(f) Manually propelled mobile ladder stands and scaffolds shall conform to the following:

(1) All manually propelled mobile ladder stands and scaffolds shall be capable of carrying the design load.

(2) All ladder stands, scaffolds, and scaffold components shall be capable of supporting, without failure, displacement, or settlement, its own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to that ladder stand, scaffold, or scaffold component.

(3) All exposed surfaces shall be free from sharp edges or burrs.

(4) The maximum work level height shall not exceed four times the minimum or least base dimensions of any mobile ladder stand or scaffold. Where the basic mobile unit does not meet this requirement, suitable outrigger frames shall be employed to achieve this least base dimension, or equivalent provisions shall be made to guy or brace the unit against tipping.

(5) The minimum platform width for any work level shall not be less than 20 inches for mobile scaffolds (towers). Ladder stands shall have a minimum step width of 16 inches. The steps of ladder stands shall be fabricated from slip resistant treads.

(6) Guardrails and midrails shall conform to the requirements listed in paragraph (a) of this section.

(7) A climbing ladder or stairway shall be provided for proper access and egress, and shall be affixed or built into the scaffold and so located that in its use it will not have a tendency to tip the scaffold.

(8) Wheels or casters shall be capable of supporting, without failure, at least four times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to that component. All scaffold casters shall be provided with a positive wheel and/or swivel lock to prevent movement. Ladder stands shall have at least two of the four casters and shall be of the swivel type.

§214.111   Personal protective equipment, generally.

With the exception of foot protection, the railroad or railroad contractor shall provide and the bridge worker shall use appropriate personal protective equipment described in this subpart in all operations where there is exposure to hazardous conditions, or where this subpart indicates the need for using such equipment to reduce the hazards to railroad bridge workers. The railroad or railroad contractor shall require the use of foot protection when the potential for foot injury exists.

[67 FR 1908, Jan. 15, 2002]

§214.113   Head protection.

(a) Railroad bridge workers working in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns, shall be provided and shall wear protective helmets.

(b) Helmets required by this section shall conform to the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.135(b), as established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

[67 FR 1908, Jan. 15, 2002, as amended at 74 FR 25172, May 27, 2009; 81 FR 37884, June 10, 2016]

§214.115   Foot protection.

(a) The railroad or railroad contractor shall require railroad bridge workers to wear foot protection equipment when potential foot injury may result from impact, falling or flying objects, electrical shock or burns, or other hazardous condition.

(b) Helmets required by this section shall conform to the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.135(b), as established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

[67 FR 1908, Jan. 15, 2002, as amended at 74 FR 25172, May 27, 2009; 81 FR 37885, June 10, 2016]

§214.117   Eye and face protection.

(a) Railroad bridge workers shall be provided and shall wear eye and face protection equipment when potential eye or face injury may result from physical, chemical, or radiant agents.

(b) Foot protection equipment required by this section shall conform to the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.136(b), as established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

(c) Face and eye protection equipment required by this section shall be kept clean and in good repair. Use of equipment with structural or optical defects is prohibited.

(d) Railroad bridge workers whose vision requires the use of corrective lenses, when required by this section to wear eye protection, shall be protected by goggles or spectacles of one of the following types:

(i) Spectacles whose protective lenses provide optical correction the, frame of which includes shielding against objects reaching the wearer's eyes around the lenses;

(ii) Goggles that can be worn over corrective lenses without disturbing the adjustment of the lenses; or

(iii) Goggles that incorporate corrective lenses mounted behind the protective lenses.

[67 FR 1908, Jan. 15, 2002; 67 FR 11055, Mar. 12, 2002, as amended at 74 FR 25172, May 27, 2009; 81 FR 37885, June 10, 2016]

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