Vol. 150, No. 21 — May 21, 2016

Prevention and Control of Fires on Line Works Regulations

Statutory authority

Railway Safety Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Transport

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

Fires caused by railway operations can become a significant threat to public safety and the environment. The Rules for the Control and Prevention of Fires on Railway Rights-of-Way require clearer compliance and enforcement provisions and are outdated. For example, many provisions are subjective, making enforcement difficult. Not all companies that are subject to the Railway Safety Act (RSA) are subject to the current rules. Furthermore, affected third parties were not consulted during the drafting of the rules.

Background

Under the Railway Safety Act, the Rules for the Control and Prevention of Fires on Railway Rights-of-Way were developed in 1995 by the Railway Association of Canada on behalf of railway companies.

In its report, Stronger Ties: A Shared Commitment to Railway Safety, the 2007 RSA review panel noted that the current rules are not effective. The RSA review panel also commented that since the rules involved third parties they should be replaced by regulations so that relevant stakeholders can be consulted.

Subsequently, the RSA was amended in 2013 to expand regulation-making authorities regarding the prevention and control of fires on railway works. Furthermore, the 2013 report from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) regarding rail safety oversight recommended that Transport Canada accelerate the resolution of important long-standing safety issues and implement the recommendations raised in the RSA review. The OAG also noted that regulations should be developed for the prevention and control of fires on railway property to replace the existing rules.

On May 1, 2013, local railway companies became subject to the RSA when operating on federally regulated railway lines. As it stands, local railway companies are not subject to the current rules.

Objectives

The key objectives of this initiative are to

  1. Enhance rail safety by reducing the likelihood of fires occurring on line works that result from railway operations;
  2. Clarify the requirements with respect to the control and prevention of fires to facilitate compliance and enforcement; and
  3. Extend requirements for the prevention and control of fires to all companies that fall under federal jurisdiction.

Description

The proposed Prevention and Control of Fires on Line Works Regulations (proposed Regulations) were designed to improve upon the current rules by enhancing the planning and preventative measures railway companies must follow, which will reduce the likelihood of fires caused by railway operations. The proposed Regulations would replace the current rules and include the following changes:

Revision of existing requirements
Fire preparedness plans

Under the current rules railway companies are required to develop fire prevention and control plans. The proposed Regulations would maintain this requirement but give greater precision as to the contents of those plans and require railway companies to update their plans every five years. For example, the new Regulations will specify that a railway company’s fire preparedness plan must include procedures for extinguishing or controlling a fire, internal notification procedures, and procedures for notifying fire services. Along with their plans, railway companies will also be required to keep an up-to-date emergency contact list.

Fire hazard reduction plans

Railway companies are currently required to have fire prevention and hazard reduction practices as well as a plan that demonstrates how they comply with this requirement. The proposed Regulations will formalize the requirement that railway companies must develop fire hazard reduction plans and go further by specifying the contents of those plans. For example, a railway company’s fire hazard reduction plan must contain a process for identifying fire hazards, measures for reducing or eliminating fire hazards when they are identified, and a breakdown, for each level of fire danger, of the fire prevention measures and fire suppression equipment that will be used when conducting high-risk work. Under the proposed Regulations, these plans are to be updated every five years.

Training

While the current rules require that railway companies provide training for employees, the proposed Regulations will be more specific by requiring that railway companies must ensure employees performing high-risk work (defined below) or who supervise contractors who perform high-risk work must be trained on the prevention and control of fires. The proposed Regulations will also require that railway companies keep training records which will better enable compliance and enforcement of the Regulations.

Introduction of new requirements
High-risk work

The proposed Regulations will introduce the concept of high-risk work and a number of requirements that companies must comply with when conducting this type of work. For example, when undertaking operations considered high-risk work, which is the use of rail grinding trains and the controlled burning of brush, railway companies will be required to notify the relevant fire service if the level of fire danger is rated as high to extreme in accordance with the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System. Railway companies will also be required to keep records of their communications with fire services.

Fire suppression equipment

Railway companies will also be required to ensure that employees and contractors who perform high-risk work have the fire suppression equipment as set out in the railway company’s fire hazard reduction plan. Moreover, railway companies will be required to maintain their fire suppression equipment and conduct annual inspections to ensure it is in good working order.

Record keeping

Under the proposed Regulations, railway companies will be required to keep all records, plans or documents required under the Regulations for five years from the day on which they were created and to provide copies to the Minister of Transport upon request.

Expansion of the scope to include all companies under federal jurisdiction
Local railway companies

As it stands, local railway companies operating on federally regulated track are not subject to any regulatory requirements regarding the control and prevention of fires. The proposed Regulations would apply in part to local railway companies. Local railway companies will be required to adhere to the same response and notification requirements concerning the control and extinguishment of fires as railway companies, to develop fire preparedness plans, and to have up-to-date emergency contact lists. Local railway companies will also be required to keep all plans and records related to the proposed Regulations for five years from the day on which they were created.

Consultation

In developing the proposed Regulations, Transport Canada consulted with

In March 2015, the above-mentioned stakeholders were consulted on this regulatory proposal and no major concerns were raised. Minor issues arising from the consultation included general application questions, such as the scope and intent of the Regulations. Examples of the issues raised included preventing overlap between requirements in the Regulations and clarifying the respective obligations for railway companies and local railway companies. The comments submitted by industry in these initial consultations were considered and addressed during policy development and regulatory drafting processes.

The proposed Regulations were also presented during a teleconference of the Federal Provincial Working Group on Rail Safety at which time no concerns were raised.

“One-for-One” Rule

Transport Canada has considered the potential impacts of all provisions of the proposed Regulations on administrative burden, and it has determined that the “One-for-One” Rule applies to these Regulations, with an annualized “IN” value of $2,278. The total administrative burden for the 38 local railway companies and the 31 railway companies is estimated to have a present value of $16,003 over a 10-year period.

The administrative costs from these Regulations stem from the requirement for companies to keep records of all documents and plans mentioned in the Regulations for five years from the day on which they were created. An hourly wage rate of $22.51 for non-supervisory personnel was used. It is assumed that it will take railway companies two hours annually to file and store these records. Since local railway companies have less record-keeping obligations, it is assumed that it will take them one hour annually to file and store these records.

Initial costing assumptions developed by Transport Canada were shared with the Regulatory Development Working Group of the Advisory Council on Rail Safety. Transport Canada also worked closely with industry to develop the cost assumptions. The comments received from industry, which were considered and addressed, played a large role in Transport Canada’s costing assumptions.

Given that this is a new regulation that imposes an administrative burden on business, the Department of Transport will be required to repeal a regulation as per subsection 5(2) of the Red Tape Reduction Act.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal as the cost is estimated to be below $1 million annually. The proposed Regulations are designed to impose minimal administrative burden on companies and to ensure that a disproportionate burden will not fall on small businesses. Of the 69 companies impacted by the proposed Regulations, Transport Canada estimates that 5 are small businesses.

Rationale

The proposed Regulations will address the recommendations of the RSA review panel and the 2013 OAG audit, as well as close the current gap with regard to local railway companies. The proposed Regulations will also formalize and enhance several elements from the existing rules that will clarify the roles of companies in regard to the prevention and control of fires, thereby increasing rail and public safety. Furthermore, by clarifying the proposed Regulations, in terms of specifying the content of the fire preparedness plans and fire hazard reduction plans, enforcement and compliance with the Regulations will be made easier.

The cost to comply with the proposed Regulations has been estimated in consultation with the stakeholders and varies according to the requirements for larger Class 1 railway companies that operate across the country, smaller railway companies, and local railway companies. There are currently 2 Class 1 companies, 29 smaller railway companies, and 38 local railway companies.

Costs are associated with the incremental costs to meet the requirements of the proposed Regulations. These incremental costs include initial, ongoing and administrative costs assumed on a regular basis. Costs were not calculated for requirements that companies must already comply with under current rules or for provisions which are triggered by events.

For smaller railway companies and local railway companies, assumptions are based on average costs. Some companies may have slightly larger operations than others, which can give rise to slightly higher costs, whereas others may have smaller operations and therefore lower costs than average. Assuming an average hourly wage rate of $22.51 for non-supervisory personnel and $27.83 for supervisory personnel (this includes 25% overhead), the present value (PV) of the costs to Class 1 railway companies is estimated to be $96,212 over a 10-year period, which corresponds to an annualized value of $13,698. The present value of the cost to smaller railway companies is estimated to be $229,289, with an annualized value of $32,646; for local railway companies, the present value of the cost is estimated to be $61,875, with an annualized value of $8,810. Therefore, the present value of the total cost to industry is estimated to be $387,376 over a 10-year period, which corresponds to an annualized value of $55,154. This corresponds to an average annualized value of $6,849 per Class 1 railway company, $1,126 per smaller railway company, and $232 per local railway company.

Table of estimated costs by provision

Total incremental costs

Proposed Regulatory Provision

Class 1 Railway Companies (PV)

Smaller Railway Companies (PV)

Local Railway Companies (PV)

Total (PV)

Control and extinguishment of fires

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

High-risk work

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Hazard reduction plans

$18,148

$37,874

N/A

$56,022

Fire preparedness plans

N/A

N/A

$36,090

$36,090

Communication of plans to employees

$782

$11,337

$7,037

$19,156

Records of communication to employees

$782

$11,337

$7,037

$19,156

Training

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Training records

$782

$11,337

N/A

$12,119

Fire suppression equipment

$66,402

$137,543

N/A

$203,945

Fire suppression equipment inspection records

$4,427

$9,170

N/A

$13,597

Record keeping

$3,613

$7,485

$4,904

$16,003

Contact list

$1,275

$3,207

$6,807

$11,289

Total costs to industry

$96,212

$229,289

$61,875

$387,376

Requiring that companies take a more proactive approach to fire prevention will enhance rail safety by reducing the likelihood of fires caused by railway operations. Furthermore, the proposed Regulations were designed in such a way that the burden imposed on stakeholders will be commensurate with the size and complexity of their operations. For example, smaller railway companies will require less effort to prepare their fire preparedness plans. This approach is favored because it will increase rail safety while not imposing undue burden on smaller companies.

The requirements for local railway companies were designed with the knowledge that they do not own the federally regulated track they operate on, that they generally operate on shorter portions of federally regulated track and that they do not perform high-risk work on federally regulated track. As a result, a number of the provisions that apply to railway companies do not apply to local railway companies. This will help reduce the burden on local railway companies.

The proposed Regulations are also in line with other recent rail safety regulatory initiatives and respect the intent of the RSA. The objectives of the RSA include the promotion and provision of safety and security to the public and personnel, the protection of property and the environment in railway operations, the recognition of the responsibility of companies to demonstrate that they continuously manage risks related to safety matters, and the facilitation of a modern, flexible and efficient regulatory scheme that will ensure the continuing enhancement of railway safety and security.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The proposed Regulations will come into force six months after the day on which they are registered. Although railway companies are already largely compliant with most of the provisions, local railway companies will be able to use this time to prepare their fire preparedness plans.

To ensure that proposed Regulations are applied in a fair, impartial, predictable and nationally consistent manner, guidance materials will be developed to align with Rail Safety’s existing compliance and enforcement regime. Training will also be provided to Rail Safety officials within the national track inspection program. Adding this guidance to the existing training program will ensure that departmental officials take a standard approach in similar circumstances to achieve consistent results.

Contact

Any questions related to the proposed Prevention and Control of Fires on Line Works Regulations should be directed to

Susan Archer
Director
Regulatory Affairs
Transport Canada
Telephone: 613-990-8690
Email: susan.archer@tc.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to paragraphs 18(1)(b) to (d) (see footnote a) and section 37 (see footnote b) of the Railway Safety Act (see footnote c), proposes to make the annexed Prevention and Control of Fires on Line Works Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Susan Archer, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Rail Safety, Department of Transport, Place de Ville, Tower C, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (tel.: 613-990-8690; fax: 613-990-7767; email: susan.archer@tc.gc.ca).

Ottawa, May 12, 2016

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Prevention and Control of Fires on Line Works Regulations

Interpretation

Definition of fire service

1 In these Regulations, fire service means a federal, provincial or municipal organization that is responsible for the prevention, detection and control of fire.

Fires

2 These Regulations apply in respect of fires on line works regardless of who caused them, how they were caused or where they started.

PART 1

Railway Companies

Interpretation
Definitions

3 The following definitions apply in this Part.

fire hazard means

high-risk work means work that involves the use of a rail-grinding train or the controlled burning of brush. (activité à haut risque)

Fire danger level

4 (1) For the purposes of this Part, the fire danger level for an area is the fire danger level shown for the area on the interactive map that, as part of the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System, is published on the Department of Natural Resources website or on any other Government of Canada website.

More than one fire danger level

(2) If more than one fire danger level is shown for the area on the interactive map, the fire danger level for the area is the highest indicated level.

Fire Control
Fire on line work

5 When a railway company becomes aware of a fire on a line work, the railway company must ensure that steps are taken to extinguish or control the fire as soon as possible. The steps must include

Assistance to fire service

6 If a fire service is attempting to extinguish or control a fire on a line work, a railway company must, at the request of the fire service and without delay, provide the fire service with reasonable assistance. The assistance may, depending on the circumstances, include the provision of transportation to the fire.

Fire Preparedness Plan and Contact List
Fire preparedness plan

7 (1) A railway company must have a fire preparedness plan and must update it every five years.

Content of plan

(2) The fire preparedness plan must include

Contact list

8 A railway company must keep, in a readily accessible location, an up-to-date contact list that sets out the name and telephone number of the fire service that is responsible for each area where a line work that the company owns, or on which the company conducts railway operations, is located.

Communication

9 A railway company must communicate its fire preparedness plan and contact list to employees who conduct railway operations.

Records

10 A railway company must keep a record of

Fire Hazard Reduction Plan
Fire hazard reduction plan

11 (1) A railway company must have a fire hazard reduction plan and must update it every five years.

Content of plan

(2) The fire hazard reduction plan must set out

Communication

12 A railway company must communicate its fire hazard reduction plan to

Records

13 A railway company must keep a record of each date on which, together with the manner in which, its fire hazard reduction plan is communicated.

High-risk Work
Notification of fire service

14 (1) When a railway company proposes to conduct high-risk work in an area where the fire danger level is high to extreme, the railway company must notify the fire service that is responsible for the area at least 24 hours in advance but not more than 48 hours in advance.

Fire danger level not available

(2) If a fire danger level is not available for the area, the railway company must notify the fire service that is responsible for the area at least 24 hours in advance but not more than 48 hours in advance.

Records

15 A railway company that notifies a fire service under subsection 14(1) or (2) must keep a record of

Prevention measures

16 (1) A railway company that is conducting high-risk work in an area must take the fire prevention measures that are set out in the railway company’s fire hazard reduction plan for the fire danger level for that area.

Fire danger level not available

(2) If a fire danger level is not available for the area, the railway company must take the fire prevention measures that are set out in the railway company’s fire hazard reduction plan for at least a moderate fire danger level.

Fire suppression equipment

17 (1) A railway company that is conducting high-risk work in an area must ensure that employees and contractors who are conducting the high-risk work are equipped with the fire suppression equipment that is set out in the railway company’s fire hazard reduction plan for the fire danger level for that area.

Fire danger level not available

(2) If a fire danger level is not available for the area, the railway company must ensure that the employees and contractors who are conducting the high-risk work are equipped with the fire suppression equipment that is set out in the railway company’s fire hazard reduction plan for at least a moderate fire danger level.

Training
Critical positions

18 For the purposes of subparagraph 18(1)(c)(i) of the Railway Safety Act, the positions of railway company employees who conduct high-risk work or supervise contractors who conduct high-risk work are declared critical to safe railway operations.

High-risk work

19 A railway company must not allow an employee to conduct high-risk work or to supervise contractors who conduct high-risk work unless the employee has been provided with training on the prevention and control of fires.

Records

20 A railway company must keep, for each employee who is provided with the training required by section 19, a record that includes

Maintenance and Inspection of Fire Suppression Equipment
Maintenance

21 A railway company must ensure that its fire suppression equipment is maintained in good working order.

Annual inspection

22 The railway company must conduct an annual inspection of its fire suppression equipment.

Maintenance records

23 (1) A railway company must keep a record that describes any maintenance work that is performed on the railway company’s fire suppression equipment.

Inspection records

(2) A railway company must keep, for each inspection conducted under section 22, a record that includes the date of the inspection and the name of the person who conducted the inspection.

Records
Retention period

24 A railway company must keep a document referred to below for at least five years after the day on which it is created:

Provision to Minister

25 A railway company must, at the Minister’s request, provide the Minister with a copy of any document referred to in section 24.

PART 2

Local Railway Companies

Fire Control
Fire on line work

26 When a local railway company becomes aware of a fire on a line work, the local railway company must ensure that steps are taken to extinguish or control the fire as soon as possible. The steps must include

Assistance to fire service

27 If a fire service is attempting to extinguish or control a fire on a line work, a local railway company must, at the request of the fire service and without delay, provide the fire service with reasonable assistance. The assistance may, depending on the circumstances, include the provision of transportation to the fire.

Fire Preparedness Plan and Contact List
Fire preparedness plan

28 (1) A local railway company must have a fire preparedness plan and must update it every five years.

Content of plan

(2) The fire preparedness plan must include

Contact list

29 A local railway company must keep, in a readily accessible location, an up-to-date contact list that sets out the name and telephone number of the fire service that is responsible for each area where a line work on which the local railway company conducts railway operations is located.

Communication

30 A local railway company must communicate its fire preparedness plan and contact list to employees who conduct railway operations.

Records
Retention period

31 A local railway company must keep a document referred to below for at least five years after the day on which it is created:

Provision to Minister

32 A local railway company must, at the Minister’s request, provide the Minister with a copy of any document referred to in section 31.

Coming into Force
Six months after registration

33 These Regulations come into force on the day that, in the sixth month after the month in which they are registered, has the same calendar number as the day on which they are registered or, if that sixth month has no day with that number, the last day of that sixth month.

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