NTSB wants railroads to use “fatigue science” when scheduling personnel
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a number of recommendations based on its investigation into a crash involving a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train.
In that March 24, 2014 incident – which occurred at 2:50 a.m., the train overran a bumping post and partially ascended an escalator at O’Hare Station after motorwoman Birttney Tysheka Haywood fell asleep at the controls.
Haywood told NTSB investigators that she had worked a lot of overtime just prior to the night of the accident.
The NTSB said the the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) should:
- Develop a work scheduling program for rail transit agencies that incorporates fatigue science—such as validated biomathematical models of fatigue—and provides for the management of personnel fatigue risks, and implement the program through the state safety oversight program. (R-15-018)
- Establish (through the state safety oversight program) scientifically based hours-of-service regulations that set limits on hours of service, provide predictable work and rest schedules, and consider circadian rhythms and human sleep and rest requirements. (R-15-019)
- Identify the necessary training and certification needs for work schedulers in the rail transit industry and require the transit agencies—through the state safety oversight program—to provide additional training or certification for their work schedulers. (R-15-020)
- Require (through the state safety oversight program) rail transit employees who develop work schedules to complete initial and recurrent training based on current fatigue science to identify and mitigate work schedule risks that contribute to operator fatigue. (R-15-021)
- Require rail transit agencies to implement transmission-based train control systems that prevent train collisions. (R-15-022)
- Require that new or rehabilitated rail transit vehicles be equipped with event recorders meeting Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standard 1482.1 for rail transit vehicle event recorders. (R-15-023)
The NTSB recommended that the Chicago Transit Authority install a transmission-based train control system on all passenger train routes.