Minister of Transport announces updates to Duty/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees
November 25, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario
Transport Canada recognizes that fatigue poses a risk across Canada’s transportation system and must be addressed in all modes of transportation, including in the railway industry.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau announced that the Duty/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees have been updated to better reflect the latest science on fatigue management and to keep Canadians working or living near railways safe.
The new rules represent a historic improvement over the existing rules, such as placing new limits on the length of a duty period, and increasing the length of the minimum rest period between shifts. The new rules also establish limits on the total number of hours that can be worked in a week (60 hours in a seven-day period) as well as in a month (192 hours in a 28-day period).
As ordered by the Minister of Transport, the railway industry proposed updated rules which represent a substantial enhancement of the existing rules, in collaboration with labour organizations. For example, railway industry will be required to develop more comprehensive Fatigue Management Plans that establish clear responsibilities for mitigating fatigue risks.
Under the new rules, railway companies will need to complete their Fatigue Management Plans within 12 months and implement the Fitness for Duty provisions within 24 months. In consideration of the significant changes required under these rules, the requirements regarding the length of work and rest periods will take effect in 30 months from today for freight railways, and in 48 months from today for passenger railways, to ensure implementation.
The revised rules will be complemented by regulations on fatigue risk management systems to further mitigate the risks of fatigue.
“Rail safety remains my top priority. I would like to thank the railway industry, as well as unions for their contribution to the updated Duty/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees based on the principles of fatigue science. The new rules represent a historic improvement over the existing framework and incorporate modern and evidence-based fatigue management principles to a whole sector of the transportation industry. My department will continue to engage with unions and the railway industry on ways to further address the risks of operator fatigue.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
Transport Canada is responsible for making sure that railway companies comply with the new Duty/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees.
The Work/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees were first put into place in 2002 and were last updated in 2011 to include a component on fatigue management.
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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