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Railroad employee safety

Employee Safety

Though most employee safety related regulations are governed by other agencies (Federal Railroad Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and others) a number of Iowa Code sections are directly related to railroad employee safety.  Concerns or complaints related to the following Iowa Code sections are reportable to the Iowa DOT.

327F.3 — Catwalks and handrails
327F.14 — Lights on track cars
327F.18-20 — Minimum requirements for caboose cars
327F.34 — Windshields on power cars
327F.36 — Screen Exhaust fire controls
327F.38 — First aid for rail employees
327F.39 Transportation of railroad employees and equipment

To file a complaint relative to the above code sections:

  • Complainant files a petition/letter outlining the complaint in sufficient detail. A complaint is to be sent to the Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Rail Transportation, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50014.
  • The Iowa DOT logs in the complaint, provides a copy to the railroad and forwards the complaint to the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals (DIA) for a hearing.
  • DIA follows administrative hearings process and renders a decision.
  • DIA sends case, with decision, back to the Iowa DOT. The Iowa DOT informs the complainant and railroad of the decision.
  • Within 30 days, either party can appeal. If appealed, the Iowa DOT reviews the case file and renders a decision through the administrative appeals process. If the decision is not appealed, the DIA decision stands.