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Signal maintainer struck by train.

Wyoming Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 95WY006, 1995 Aug; :1-4
A 36 year old male signal maintainer died from injuries suffered when he was struck by a moving train while working on a track-side signal. Following a snowstorm, the victim was examining a switch heater that melts ice from track switches. Approximately 30 minutes after he had left the area and train traffic was allowed to continue, he returned to the track to re-examine the heater and was struck from the rear by an oncoming train. Because of the recent snow and cold weather, the victim was wearing heavy headgear. There were no tracks to indicate that he had gone into the switch house to activate the emergency beacon to warn oncoming trains of his presence and he had his back to the train as it was approaching. The engineer was blowing a whistle as it approached a crossing. When the victim stood up, the engineer saw him and applied all possible braking systems to attempt to get the train stopped. Because of the noise created by the propane torch the victim was using, along with the head covering to protect him from the cold and the fact that train whistles are more easily heard from the side than in the direct path, the victim apparently did not hear the train coming and made no attempt to escape. Employers may be able to minimize the potential for occurrence of this type of incident through the following precautions: 1. Insure that employees understand and comply with regulations to stay clear of tracks after clearance authorization has been issued. 2. Issue bright-colored clothing to signal maintainers so that they are more readily visible from a distance. 3. Workers should understand and comply with rules that require setting emergency beacons when working on tracks.
Region-8; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-clothing; Maintenance-workers; Warning-signals; Railroad-industry
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-95WY006; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-807083
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wyoming Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division