" DISCLAIMER: The ILO does not take responsibility for content presented on this web portal that is presented in any language other than English, which is the language used for the initial production and peer-review of original content. Certain statistics have not been updated since the production of the 4th edition of the Encyclopaedia (1998)."

Monday, 04 April 2011 15:31

Subways

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

While railroad safety comes under the jurisdiction of national governments, which issue rules and policies for safety governance and enforcement, subways are usually governed by local public authorities, which in essence govern themselves.

Subway fares usually do not cover operating cost and, through subsidies, are kept at certain levels to maintain an affordable public transportation service. Subway and other city mass transit systems make city roads more accessible and reduce the pollution associated with urban automobile traffic.

Budget cuts that have become so common in many countries in recent years also affect mass transit systems. Preventive maintenance personnel and the upgrade of tracks, signals and rolling stock are the first to be affected. The controlling authorities are often unwilling or unable to enforce their own regulatory procedures on a rapid transit system abandoned by government subsidies. Inevitably in such circumstances, a transportation accident with catastrophic loss of life during the budget cuts results in a public outcry demanding improvements in safety.

While it is recognized that great variation exists in the design, construction and age of the physical facilities of the rapid transit properties in Canada, the United States and other countries, certain standard maintenance functions must be carried out to keep operating track, aerial and underground structures, passenger stations and related facilities in the safest possible condition.

Subway Operation and Maintenance

Subways differ from railroads in several basic ways:

  • most subways run underground in tunnels
  • subways run on electricity rather than diesel or steam (although there are also some electrical trains)
  • subways run much more frequently than railroad trains
  • graffiti removal is a major problem.

 

These factors influence the degree of risk for subway train operators and maintenance crews.

Collisions between subway trains on the same track and with maintenance crews on the track are a serious problem. These collisions are controlled by proper scheduling, central communications systems to alert subway train operators of problems and signal light systems indicating when operators can proceed safely. Breakdowns in these control procedures resulting in collisions can occur due to radio communication problems, broken or improperly placed signal lights that do not give operators adequate time to stop and fatigue problems from shift work and excessive overtime, resulting in inattention.

Maintenance crews patrol the subway tracks doing repairs to tracks, signal lights and other equipment, picking up rubbish and performing other duties. They face electrical hazards from the third rail carrying the electricity to operate the subways, fire and smoke hazards from burning rubbish and possible electrical fires, inhalation hazards from steel dust and other particulates in the air from the subway wheels and rails and the hazard of being hit by subway cars. Floods in subways can also create electrical shock and fire hazards. Because of the nature of subway tunnels, many of these hazardous situations are confined-space hazards.

Adequate ventilation to remove air contaminants, proper confined-space and other emergency procedures (e.g., evacuation procedures) for fires and floods and adequate communication procedures including radios and signal lights to notify subway train operators of the presence of maintenance crews on the tracks are essential to protect these crews. There should be frequent emergency spaces along subway walls or adequate space between tracks to allow maintenance crew members to avoid passing subway cars.

Graffiti removal from both the inside and outside of subway cars is a hazard in addition to regular painting and cleaning of cars. Graffiti removers often contained strong alkalis and hazardous solvents and can be a hazard both by skin contact and inhalation. Exterior graffiti removal is done by driving the cars through a car wash where the chemicals are sprayed on the exterior of the car. The chemicals are also applied by brushing and spraying inside subway cars. Applying hazardous graffiti removers inside cars could be a confined-space hazard.

Precautions include using the least toxic chemicals possible, proper respirator protection and other personal protective equipment and proper procedures to ensure that car operators know what chemicals are being used.

 

Back

Read 4293 times Last modified on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:41
More in this category: « Rail Operations

Contents

Preface
Part I. The Body
Part II. Health Care
Part III. Management & Policy
Part IV. Tools and Approaches
Part V. Psychosocial and Organizational Factors
Part VI. General Hazards
Part VII. The Environment
Part VIII. Accidents and Safety Management
Part IX. Chemicals
Part X. Industries Based on Biological Resources
Part XI. Industries Based on Natural Resources
Part XII. Chemical Industries
Part XIII. Manufacturing Industries
Part XIV. Textile and Apparel Industries
Part XV. Transport Industries
Part XVI. Construction
Part XVII. Services and Trade
Education and Training Services
Emergency and Security Services
Entertainment and the Arts
Health Care Facilities and Services
Hotels and Restaurants
Office and Retail Trades
Personal and Community Services
Public and Government Services
Transport Industry and Warehousing
Air Transport
Road Transport
Rail Transport
Water Transport
Storage
Resources
Part XVIII. Guides

Transport Industry and Warehousing Additional Resources

Click the Button below to view additional resources for this topic.

button

Transport Industry and Warehousing References

American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 1967. Illumination. ANSI A11.1-1967. New York: ANSI.

Anton, DJ. 1988. Crash dynamics and restraint systems. In Aviation Medicine, 2nd edition, edited by J Ernsting and PF King. London: Butterworth.

Beiler, H and U Tränkle. 1993. Fahrerarbeit als Lebensarbeitsperpektive. In Europäische Forschungsansätze zur Gestaltung der Fahrtätigkeit im ÖPNV (S. 94-98) Bundesanstat für Arbeitsschutz. Bremerhaven: Wirtschaftsverlag NW.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 1996. Safety and Health Statistics. Washington, DC: BLS.

Canadian Urban Transit Association. 1992. Ergonomic Study of the Driver’s Workstation in Urban Buses. Toronto: Canadian Urban Transit Association.

Decker, JA. 1994. Health Hazard Evaluation: Southwest Airlines, Houston Hobby Airport, Houston, Texas. HETA-93-0816-2371. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH.

DeHart RL. 1992. Aerospace medicine. In Public Health and Preventive Medicine, 13th edition, edited by ML Last and RB Wallace. Norwalk, CT: Appleton and Lange.

DeHart, RL and KN Beers. 1985. Aircraft accidents, survival, and rescue. In Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine, edited by RL DeHart. Philadelphia, PA: Lea and Febiger.

Eisenhardt, D and E Olmsted. 1996. Investigation of Jet Exhaust Infiltration into a Building Located on John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport Taxiway. New York: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Division of Federal Occupational Health, New York Field Office.

Firth, R. 1995. Steps to successfully installing a warehouse management system. Industrial Engineering 27(2):34–36.

Friedberg, W, L Snyder, DN Faulkner, EB Darden, Jr., and K O’Brien. 1992. Radiation Exposure of Air Carrier Crewmembers II. DOT/FAA/AM-92-2.19. Oklahoma City, OK: Civil Aeromedical Institute; Washington, DC: Federal Aviation Administration.

Gentry, JJ, J Semeijn, and DB Vellenga. 1995. The future of road haulage in the new European Union—1995 and beyond. Logistics and Transportation Review 31(2):149.

Giesser-Weigt, M and G Schmidt. 1989. Verbesserung des Arbeitssituation von Fahrern im öffentlichen Personennahverkehr. Bremerhaven: Wirtschaftsverlag NW.

Glaister, DH. 1988a. The effects of long duration acceleration. In Aviation Medicine, 2nd edition, edited by J Ernsting and PF King. London: Butterworth.

—. 1988b. Protection against long duration acceleration. In Aviation Medicine, 2nd edition, edited by J Ernsting and PF King. London: Butterworth.

Haas, J, H Petry and W Schühlein. 1989. Untersuchung zurVerringerung berufsbedingter Gesundheitsrisien im Fahrdienst des öffentlichen Personennahverkehr. Bremerhaven; Wirtschaftsverlag NW.

International Chamber of Shipping. 1978. International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals. London: Witherby.

International Labour Organization (ILO). 1992. Recent Developments in Inland Transportation. Report I, Sectoral Activities Programme, Twelfth Session. Geneva: ILO.

—. 1996. Accident Prevention on Board Ship at Sea and in Port. An ILO Code of Practice. 2nd edition. Geneva: ILO.

Joyner, KH and MJ Bangay. 1986. Exposure survey of civilian airport radar workers in Australia. Journal of Microwave Power and Electromagnetic Energy 21(4):209–219.

Landsbergis, PA, D Stein, D Iacopelli and J Fruscella. 1994. Work environment survey of air traffic controllers and development of an occupational safety and health training program. Presented at the American Public Health Association, 1 November, Washington, DC.

Leverett, SD and JE Whinnery. 1985. Biodynamics: Sustained acceleration. In Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine, edited by RL DeHart. Philadelphia, PA: Lea and Febiger.

Magnier, M. 1996. Experts: Japan has the structure but not the will for intermodalism. Journal of Commerce and Commercial 407:15.

Martin, RL. 1987. AS/RS: From the warehouse to the factory floor. Manufacturing Engineering 99:49–56.

Meifort, J, H Reiners, and J Schuh. 1983. Arbeitshedingungen von Linienbus- und Strassenbahnfahrern des Dortmunder Staatwerke Aktiengesellschaft. Bremen- haven: Wirtschaftsverlag.

Miyamoto, Y. 1986. Eye and respiratory irritants in jet engine exhaust. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine 57(11):1104–1108.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). 1976. Fire Protection Handbook, 14th edition. Quincy, MA: NFPA.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 1976. Documented Personnel Exposures from Airport Baggage Inspection Systems. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 77-105. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH.

—. 1993a. Health Hazard Evaluation: Big Bear Grocery Warehouse. HETA 91-405-2340. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH.

—. 1993b. Alert: Preventing Homicide in the Workplace. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 93-108. Cincinatti, OH: NIOSH.

—. 1995. Health Hazard Evaluation: Kroger Grocery Warehouse. HETA 93-0920-2548. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH.

National Safety Council. 1988. Aviation Ground Operation Safety Handbook, 4th edition. Chicago, IL: National Safety Council.

Nicogossian, AE, CL Huntoon and SL Pool (eds.). 1994. Space Physiology and Medicine, 3rd edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lea and Febiger.

Peters, Gustavsson, Morén, Nilsson and Wenäll. 1992. Forarplats I Buss, Etapp 3; Kravspecifikation. Linköping, Sweden: Väg och Trafikinstitutet.

Poitrast, BJ and deTreville. 1994. Occupational medical considerations in the aviation industry. In Occupational Medicine, 3rd edition, edited by C Zenz, OB Dickerson, and EP Hovarth. St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Register, O. 1994. Make Auto-ID work in your world. Transportation and Distribution 35(10):102–112.

Reimann, J. 1981. Beanspruchung von Linienbusfahrern. Untersuchungen zur Beanspruchung von Linienbusfahrern im innerstädtischen Verkehr. Bremerhaven: Wirtschafts-verlag NW.

Rogers, JW. 1980. Results of FAA Cabin Ozone Monitoring Program in Commercial Aircraft in 1978 and 1979. FAA-EE-80-10. Washington, DC: Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Environment and Energy.

Rose, RM, CD Jenkins, and MW Hurst. 1978. Air Traffic Controller Health Change Study. Boston, MA: Boston University School of Medicine.

Sampson, RJ, MT Farris, and DL Shrock. 1990. Domestic Transportation: Practice, Theory, and Policy, 6th edition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Streekvervoer Nederland. 1991. Chaufferscabine [Driver’s cabin]. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Streekvervoer Nederland.

US Senate. 1970. Air Traffic Controllers (Corson Report). Senate Report 91-1012. 91st Congress, 2nd Session, 9 July. Washington, DC: GPO.

US Department of Transportation (DOT). 1995. Senate Report 103–310, June 1995. Washington, DC: GPO.

Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen. 1996. Fahrerarbeitsplatz im Linienbus [Driver’s workstation in buses]. VDV Schrift 234 (Entwurf). Cologne, Germany: Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen.

Violland, M. 1996. Whither railways? OECD Observer No. 198, 33.

Wallentowitz H, M Marx, F Luczak, J Scherff. 1996. Forschungsprojekt. Fahrerarbeitsplatz im Linienbus— Abschlußbericht [Research project. Driver’s workstation in buses—Final report]. Aachen, Germany: RWTH.

Wu, YX, XL Liu, BG Wang, and XY Wang. 1989. Aircraft noise-induced temporary threshold shift. Aviation Space and Medicine 60(3):268–270.