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PDFWAC 480-62-235


(1) The rules in this section apply whenever a railroad company engages in the maintenance, repair, or construction of a grade crossing or grade separated crossing; however, they do not apply when flaggers are provided only because of a crossing signal malfunction or only because of inspections or repairs to a crossing signal system. The latter circumstances are covered by 49 C.F.R., Part 234. In addition, 49 C.F.R. Part 234.5 recommends that railroad companies follow the requirements of Part VI of the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to the extent possible. The commission further recommends that railroads also abide by the following rules to the extent possible in situations covered by 49 C.F.R. Part 234.
(2) Except as otherwise required in this section, traffic control devices, signs, barricades, and signaling methods must be set up in accordance with the provisions of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The commission adopts, by reference, specific portions of the MUTCD, as follows:
(a) Chapter 8A.08, Temporary Traffic Control Zones;
(b) Chapter 6A, General;
(c) Chapter 6B, Fundamental Principles;
(d) Chapter 6D, Pedestrian and Worker Safety;
(e) Chapter 6E, Flagger Control;
(f) Chapter 6G.18, Work in the Vicinity of a Grade Crossing.
(3) Flaggers are to be used only when other reasonable means of control will not adequately control traffic in work zones. It may be reasonable in some cases to close the road on which the crossing is located, but only if agreed to by the public authority responsible for the roadway.
(4) Standards for high-visibility safety apparel.
(a) While flagging during daylight hours, a flagger must, at a minimum, wear:
- A high-visibility safety garment designed according to Class 2 specifications in ANSI/ISEA 207-2006, American National Standard for High-Visibility Public Safety Vests, specifically, a garment containing at least seven hundred seventy-five square inches of background material and two hundred one square inches of retroreflective material; and
- A high-visibility hard hat.
(b) While flagging at night, a flagger must, at a minimum, wear:
- A high-visibility safety garment designed according to Class 2 specifications in ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 over white coveralls, or other coveralls or trousers designed according to ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 standards; and
- A high-visibility hard hat that is marked with at least twelve square inches of reflectorized material providing three hundred sixty degrees of visibility.
(c) While flagging during inclement weather, yellow rain gear, white rain gear, or rain gear designed according to ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 may be substituted for white coveralls.
(5) Railroad companies must develop and use a method to ensure that whenever there is any potential hazard associated with motor vehicles, construction equipment, or on-track equipment, that flaggers have adequate warning of objects approaching from behind the flagger.
The following are some nonmandatory examples of methods that may be used to adequately warn flaggers:
- Mount a mirror on the flagger's hard hat;
- Use a motion detector with audible warning; or
- Use a spotter.
(6)(a) Railroad companies must conduct an on-site safety briefing for flaggers each time a flagger reports for duty, and also when job site conditions change significantly. The briefing must include applicable portions of the traffic control plan and any changes applicable during the flagger's shift. If not covered in the traffic control plan, the briefing must also include:
- The flagger's role and location at the job site;
- Motor vehicles and equipment in operation at the site;
- Job site traffic patterns;
- Communications and signals to be used between flaggers and equipment operators;
- Expected train and other on-track equipment movements;
- On-foot escape route; and
- Other hazards specific to the job site.
(b) When flaggers are used on a job site at a roadway allowing speeds of forty-five mph or more and the job will last more than one day, the railroad company must keep on the site a current site-specific traffic control plan. The purpose of this plan is to help move traffic through or around the construction zone in a way that protects the safety of the traveling public, pedestrians and workers. The plan must include, but is not limited to, such items as:
- Sign use and placement;
- Application and removal of pavement markings;
- Construction;
- Scheduling;
- Methods and devices for delineation and channelization;
- Placement and maintenance of devices;
- Placement of flaggers;
- Roadway lighting;
- Traffic regulations; and
- Surveillance and inspection.
(7)(a) Where flaggers are used on roads allowing speeds of at least forty-five mph, the railroad company must provide an additional warning sign marked "be prepared to stop."
(b) This sign is in addition to those required by Part VI of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. It should be placed between the last two warning signs in the series or on the opposite side of the road when used on undivided roads.
(c) This additional sign does not increase the required advance warning area.
(d) The purpose of this additional sign is to clearly point out that a flagger will be encountered and the driver should be prepared to stop.
(8) To protect flaggers, railroad companies must ensure that:
(a) Flagger workstations are illuminated at night and during inclement weather by floodlights. It is important to adequately illuminate the workstation without creating glare in the eyes of approaching drivers. The adequacy and proper placement of floodlights can best be determined by driving through and observing the workstation from each direction on the roadway.
(b) Warning signs reflect the actual condition of the work zone. When not in use, warning signs should either be taken down or covered.
(c) Flaggers are not assigned other duties while engaging in flagging activities.
(d) Flaggers do not use devices (e.g., cell phones, pagers, or radio headphones) that may distract the vision, hearing, or attention of the flagger. Devices such as two-way radios used for communication between flaggers to direct traffic or ensure flagger safety are acceptable.
(e) Flaggers receive appropriate breaks from flagging so they can remain attentive and alert.
(9) Unless an emergency makes it impossible, before performing any work, railroad companies must coordinate all repair, maintenance, and construction work with the governing authority responsible for the road on which the crossing exists.
(10) Information about Title 49 C.F.R., the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 regarding the versions adopted and where to obtain them is set out in WAC 480-62-999.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 80.04.160, 81.04.160, and 34.05.353. WSR 11-04-041 (Docket A-101466, General Order R-562), § 480-62-235, filed 1/25/11, effective 2/25/11; WSR 10-03-044 (Docket A-091124, General Order R-557), § 480-62-235, filed 1/14/10, effective 2/14/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 81.04.160, 81.24.010, 81.28.010, 81.28.290, 81.40.110, 81.44.010, 81.44.020, 81.44.101- 81.44.105, and chapters 81.48, 81.53, 81.54, 81.60, and 81.61 RCW. WSR 01-04-026 (Docket No. TR-981102, General Order No. R-477), § 480-62-235, filed 1/30/01, effective 3/2/01.]
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