Railway workers too tired, company ordered to give more rest time

Image Credit: CP Rail

KAMLOOPS - Rail workers will now have extra time to catch some sleep between shifts after Transport Canada ordered Canadian Pacific railway to consider transit time to and from a rest facility as on the clock work.

Last week, Transport Canada issued the order after determining crew members weren’t given enough rest time, specifically on extended service runs for CP in Kamloops along with other locations.

The authority found two working conditions contributed to the hazard. First, the transit time to and from the away-from-home rest location was not counted as time on duty. Secondly, crew members were not allowed to book rest time at the away-from-home terminal after shifts were cancelled.

Officials found those two elements contributed to workers not having enough time to plan future sleep cycles which in turn left them feeling more fatigued with less time to rest.

Transport Canada found the extended service run trains were not on the train lineup for a sufficient amount of time to let workers catch up on their sleep which in turn presented a risk for train operation.

On Jan. 14, Canadian Pacific was ordered to include transit time to the rest facility as on duty time and allow extended service run crew members to book up to eight hours of uninterrupted rest when there’s a shift cancellation. The railway is also ordered to post extended service trains on a schedule a minimum of eight hours in advance of the shift call time and up to a maximum of 12 hours.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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