OPERATIONS, PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES
The recommended practices contained herein shall not be considered as all inclusive.
Situations not covered require sound judgment in applying correct principles of safety.
Exercising good judgment and avoiding carelessness are paramount to any safe operation.
a. General Guidelines.
(1) Proper clothing is necessary to work safely. Personnel shall wear clothing that will
not interfere with vision, hearing or free use of hands and feet; shoes shall be suitable for duties in
which engaged. The wearing of thin soled shoes or unbuckled overshoes, loose, torn or baggy
clothing, or clothing soaked with oil, grease or solvents, is unsafe. Safety shoes are
recommended. Safety equipment shall be worn as required by local railroad operating directives
(Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Station Instructions, etc.). For example, local operating
directives may require personnel to wear gloves to protect their hands and engineers to wear
goggles or safety glasses to protect their eyes from airborne particles in and around the
(2) When working with moving equipment, secure hand grips and footing are
essential. Always expect a movement in any direction at any time and be prepared for severe
(3) Railroad work often requires heavy lifting of awkward objects. Protecting your
back requires personnel to remain physically fit and to follow accepted safe lifting methods. See
Figure 3-1 for the correct method of lifting.
(4) When watching for signals in the direction opposite the train movement, exercise
extreme care to avoid being struck by obstacles. Train work frequently involves close clearances.
(5) Walking near tracks and crossing tracks on foot:
Avoid standing or walking on the track except when necessary.
When in the vicinity of any track, personnel should maintain constant vigilance for
any train movements.
When crossing over tracks, look in both directions for approaching trains,
locomotives, or cars before crossing tracks, and step over the rails - not on them.
When possible, cross over tracks in areas designated for that purpose.
When crossing over tracks, always leave at least 20 feet between yourself and the
end of a cut of cars.
If crossing between two cuts of cars is necessary, cross midway between the cuts.