Safety Managers on the Job: Railroad Construction

Railroad infrastructure projects, such as the Green Line Extension Project (GLX) for the MBTA require special training for their onsite safety managers.

Track Safety

As with any industry, railroad workers have certain specific safety requirements that help eliminate hazards that can arise.
Hazards that are common to railroads include poor visibility and weather conditions, struck-by hazards, caught-in-between, and hot spot areas.
Workers must know what the safety plan is, any changes to the safety plan; and key information such as where to clear, train schedules, work schedules, and visibility and weather reports.

Safety Communication and Coordination of Work

Communication is paramount to safety on a railway project. Train schedules, work schedules, and conditions are all major factors that the safety manager must be aware of when coordinating work on site. There are rapid changes on the site as the project progresses, and keeping all trades and subcontractors apprised of pertinent information is important to their job, and to their safety.

Good safety managers will be active listeners and practice three-way communication; having the listener’s attention, being direct and concise, and confirming that the listener understood the message by having them repeat what they said.

Construction Safety Manager Work

It is important to have these specially trained safety managers on a railroad construction site to conduct safety briefings, safety audits and make recommendations for correction. “Track Trained” safety managers will be able to incorporate their knowledge of the specific hazards inherent to railways to their work. They must understand how to communicate safely, and be aware of train schedules, work schedules, and conditions. Safety managers for this type of work must be familiar with the relevant track safety program as well as have extensive experience with construction safety.  Construction safety managers lead daily/weekly safety meetings, facilitate communication about conditions, hazards and work changes, complete job safety analyses (JSA’s or JHA’s), and work to ensure the efficacy of the safety program.

For a construction safety manager to be successful while working on a railway construction site they must have special track training such as MBTA Contractor, Keolis, and Amtrak Track Training.


With offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and consultants based in New Hampshire and Connecticut, we can service our clients all over the New England area.  UASC consultants have a variety of specialized project training for rail sites including MBTA Contractor, Keolis, and Amtrak Track Training.