Directive: Protection of Railway Employees Working in the Vicinity of Equipment that may be Coupled to and Moved


Reference number

Date of Issue: June 27, 2015

Under the authority of the Administration Delegation Regulation and the Railway Safety Adopted Provisions Regulation: Section 33 of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) the BCSA issues the following directive to all certified provincial railways. 


There is a hazard to safe railway operations when employees are working in the vicinity of railway equipment. This hazard consists of service providers or other railway switching crews unknowingly coupling to equipment while employees are near to or physically attached to the railway equipment. Accidents, Incidents and injuries have occurred.

As a result of these accidents and incidents, all provincial railways must have rules and procedures in place to protect employees that work in the vicinity of equipment that may be coupled to and moved.

Pursuant to section 33 of the RSA of British Columbia, all certified provincial railway companies are hereby ordered to and must undertake at a minimum, one (1) the following rules or procedures when working near or in the vicinity of railway equipment, which includes the loading or unloading of railway cars or making repairs to railway equipment.

  1. Comply with Canadian Railway Operating Rule (CROR): 26 Blue Signal Protection; or
  2. Line all available switches to prevent entry into the track where work is being performed and apply special locks; or
  3. Provide a permanent or temporary derail(s) to the track where work is being performed, that would prevent a movement from approaching and coupling onto the equipment being worked on or repaired.

    Note: These rules and procedures in no way remove the obligation to comply with Canadian Railway Operating Rule (CROR): 113 Coupling to Equipment.

    All provincial railways must ensure, that within 14 days of the issuance of this directive, that the railway has reviewed its policies and procedures and made the necessary amendments to their Safety Management System (SMS);

    All provincial railways must ensure that within 30 days of the issuance of this directive that the railway has trained all of its railway employees on the rules including any new policies and procedures resulting from this directive.


    Any railway that fails to comply with this Directive will be subject to enforcement measures under the Railway Safety Act of British Columbia. The railway is responsible for safe railway operations under their approved SMS.

    Additional Information

    For additional information please contact the BCSA Railway Safety Program administration at 778‐396‐2044 or email at

    Eric Samuelson
    Provincial Railway Safety Manager
    British Columbia Safety Authority