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 Post subject: CFR 49 Part 242 Casualties?
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1821
I am curious, has anybody been disqualified as a failure to pass visual or hearing tests mandated by the new Cond. Cert. Regulations

I am aware of one individual who expects to lose a qual due to a lack of chromatic accuity (not sure why that can't be accomodated in non-signalled territory) and one who's partial blindness (one eye) resulted in a requirement (I suspect as an ADA reasonable accomodation) to engage in duties as a conductor only so long as another qualified conductor is on the crew.

Given the relative eld of this advocation, I'm curious.

 Post subject: Re: CFR 49 Part 242 Casualties?
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 2:38 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2525
Location: S.F. Bay Area
49 CFR 242.3 wrote:
§ 242.3 Application and responsibility for compliance.

(a) This part applies to all railroads, except:

(1) Railroads that operate only on track inside an installation that is not part of the general railroad system of transportation ( i.e., plant railroads, as defined in § 242.7);

(2) Tourist, scenic, historic, or excursion operations that are not part of the general railroad system of transportation as defined in § 242.7; or

(3) Rapid transit operations in an urban area that are not connected to the general railroad system of transportation

Unless you use rails also plied by freight cars hauled for pay for someone else (your own ballast doesn't count)... you're exempt. This describes a significant fraction of this industry. (of course, FRA's EO authority still applies, so if you have a locomotive engineer who is Actually Blind, FRA can act. (though, keep in mind FRA has written about 5 EO's this century. The last one was 5 years ago and banned cell phones.)

The notion of applying ADA to railroad service is novel, and will no doubt have some interesting interactions with the FRA regs.

 Post subject: Re: CFR 49 Part 242 Casualties?
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 9:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:06 am
Posts: 480
Location: NE PA
Robert, I believe superheater is referring to an operation with joint track use that requires certification of conductors.

The CFR allows for exemptions for most of the requirements, but it requires a lot of hoop jumping with no guarantee of success.

Should one fail the color tests, one can apply this part of Appendix D to Part 242—Medical Standards Guidelines:
(3) In administering any of these protocols, the person conducting the examination should be aware that railroad signals do not always occur in the same sequence and that “yellow signals” do not always appear to be the same. It is not acceptable to use “yarn” or other materials to conduct a simple test to determine whether the certification candidate has the requisite vision. No person shall be allowed to wear chromatic lenses during an initial test of the person's color vision; the initial test is one conducted in accordance with one of the accepted tests in the chart and § 242.117(h)(3).

(4) An examinee who fails to meet the criteria in the chart, may be further evaluated as determined by the railroad's medical examiner. Ophthalmologic referral, field testing, or other practical color testing may be utilized depending on the experience of the examinee. The railroad's medical examiner will review all pertinent information and, under some circumstances, may restrict an examinee who does not meet the criteria for serving as a conductor at night, during adverse weather conditions or under other circumstances. The intent of § 242.117(j) is not to provide an examinee with the right to make an infinite number of requests for further evaluation, but to provide an examinee with at least one opportunity to prove that a hearing or vision test failure does not mean the examinee cannot safely perform as a conductor. Appropriate further medical evaluation could include providing another approved scientific screening test or a field test. All railroads should retain the discretion to limit the number of retests that an examinee can request but any cap placed on the number of retests should not limit retesting when changed circumstances would make such retesting appropriate. Changed circumstances would most likely occur if the examinee's medical condition has improved in some way or if technology has advanced to the extent that it arguably could compensate for a hearing or vision deficiency.

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