Part C – Qualifications and Designation of Responsible Persons

Appendix: Guideline for Bridge Safety Management with clarification comments on grey background

2.1 - Scope

A railway authority’s BSMP shall4 describe the qualification, training and designation of persons who perform safety-critical functions that affect the integrity and safety of bridges.

Section Analysis 2.1 – Scope

Railway Safety Management System Guide
H) Skills, Training and Supervision

2. (h) systems for ensuring that employees and any other persons to whom the railway company grants access to its property, have appropriate skills and training and adequate supervision to ensure that they comply with all safety requirements;

The Safety Management System should include

  • identification of required position qualifications;
  • identification of required qualification and training of customers, contractors, other railways and other third parties whose activities may directly affect railway safety;
  • periodic reviews of qualification requirements that take into account the results of proficiency testing, compliance evaluations, risk assessments, accident/incident investigations and safety data analysis;
  • procedures for ensuring that employees have received the necessary training and certification and that qualifications are kept current;
  • procedures for keeping records of training and certification requirements as well as the status of employees relative to these requirements;
  • procedures for compliance and proficiency testing in all disciplines and for record keeping and follow-up corrective action such as additional training;
  • procedures for communicating to employees any changes to safety policies, work procedures, practices, requirements, rules and standards;
  • supervisor job descriptions that identify responsibilities, including coaching and direct field observation;
  • systems for ensuring accountability for these responsibilities; and
  • adequate resources for supervision.

2.2 – Bridge Safety Management Responsibility

A railway company’s BSMP shall5 identify clear authorities, responsibilities, and accountabilities for the management of bridge safety.

Section Analysis 2.2 - Bridge Safety Management Responsibility

Section 4(1)(e) Railway Safety Management System Regulations e.g. an organizational chart illustrating the chain of responsibility.

2.3 – Railway Bridge Engineer

A Railway Bridge Engineer is a professional engineer, designated by a railway authority, who is responsible for, and has the related experience in, the following functions as they apply to the particular engineering work to be performed:

  1. Determine the forces and stresses in bridges and their components;
  2. Prescribe safe loading conditions for bridges;
  3. Prescribe inspection, maintenance, repair and modification procedures for bridges; and
  4. Design repairs and modifications to bridges.

The designated Railway Bridge Engineer shall6 decide the extent to which professional engineers shall7 be directly involved in the engineering work related to railway works.

A Railway Bridge Engineer should be authorized to restrict the operation of traffic over a bridge according to its immediate condition or state of repair.

Section Analysis 2.3 - Railway Bridge Engineer

The designated Railway Bridge Engineer who has related experience in the field of railway bridge engineering and is responsible for the development of all inspection procedures, reviews inspection reports, and determines whether bridges are being inspected according to the applicable procedures and frequency, and reviews any items noted by an inspector as exceptions. He shall also take responsibility for design, construction, evaluation or alteration work and procedures to be followed in association with a railway work that affects safety to the public, employees of the railway company, or the environment.

In fulfilling their responsibilities, professional engineers assure that all engineering work relating to railway works is carried out using good engineering judgment, with sound engineering practice, and with the appropriate level of oversight needed for providing reasonable assurance regarding safety. This includes reasonable assurance that the appropriate systems are in place for the prudent implementation of the engineering work including, but not limited to: design, construction, evaluation, alteration, operation, maintenance, training, environmental, quality assurance, safety, accident investigation, corrective measures, records, and emergency procedures.

Railway Bridge Engineering is based on the same principles of engineering as all other structural engineering work, but the applications of many of those principles are unique to this particular field. The live loads carried on railway bridges are generally much higher than the loads on highway bridges or other transportation structures. Overall configuration and details of construction of railway bridges differ greatly from other classes of structures, to the extent that dealing with these features requires some experience with them as well as an understanding of the fundamentals of engineering.

It is understood that not all Railway Bridge Engineers will be faced with all aspects of railway bridge engineering. For example, an engineer engaged to prescribe safe loads for short steel spans and timber trestles on a particular railway might never have to perform a detailed analysis of a large truss bridge. The basic premise is that the engineer be competent to perform the functions that are encompassed by that individual's employment or engagement. The determination of qualifications by the railway authority includes either employment or engagement of the engineer by the railway authority, and designation of the engineer to exercise the authority called for in this part.

It is believed that given the critical nature of railway bridge engineering work, it will be required that persons meet a minimum educational and experience requirement which is common to the engineering profession and which is necessary for an individual who will perform the functions of a Railway Bridge Engineer.

2.4 – Railway Bridge Inspector

A Railway Bridge Inspector is a person who is designated by a railway authority and deemed to be technically competent and have the related experience to view, measure, report and record the condition of a bridge and its individual components, under the direction of the designated Railway Bridge Engineer.

A Railway Bridge Inspector should be authorized to restrict the operation of traffic over a bridge according to its immediate condition or state of repair.

Section Analysis 2.4 - Railway Bridge Inspector

This section proposes the qualifications that a Railway Bridge Inspector should meet. Effective inspection of bridges is essential to preserving their integrity and serviceability. Railway Bridge Inspectors must be able to understand and carry out the inspection procedure, including accessing inspection points on a bridge, measuring components and any changes, describing conditions found in a standard, unambiguous manner, and detecting the development of conditions that are critical to the safety of the bridge. It is essential that a Railway Bridge Inspector who detects a potential hazard to the safe railway operations should be authorized by the railway authority to place appropriate restrictions on the operation of traffic pending review as necessary by a Railway Bridge Engineer. He should ensure that there is a process in place, which may include audits, field trips and training of the Railway Bridge Inspector, to assure the quality of the inspections reported. An individual who is not competent in railway bridgework should not be permitted to overrule a determination made by a designated Railway Bridge Inspector, or Railway Bridge Engineer.

2.5 - Qualified Person

A Qualified Person is a person who is designated by a railway authority in respect to a specified duty, because of knowledge, training and experience is qualified to perform that duty safely and properly.

2.6 - Designation of Individuals

Each railway authority should designate individuals qualified as Railway Bridge Engineers, Railway Bridge Inspectors, and Qualified Persons. For each individual designated, the records should include the basis for the designation (qualifications and related experience) in effect.

Section Analysis 2.6 - Designation of Individuals

This section proposes that each railway authority designate certain individuals as qualified Railway Bridge Engineers, Railway Bridge Inspectors, and Qualified Persons and provide a recorded basis for each designation in effect. The railway authority should record designations of individuals, whether employees, consultants or contractors. If a consultant or contractor has several individuals performing the described functions under a contract or other engagement, then one or more individuals should be designated as being responsible to the railway authority for the work performed under that engagement, with the others working under the responsible charge of that individual.

4  Section 2(h) Railway Safety Management System Regulations
5  Section 4(1)(e) Railway Safety Management System Regulations
6  Section 11 of the Railway Safety Act
7  Section 11 of the Railway Safety Act

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