News & Publications

Rail Law Alert No. 12

FRA Publishes Final Rule on Critical Incident Stress Plans

On March 25, 2014, the FRA published its Final Rule for Critical Incident Stress Plans.  This rule requires Class I freight and passenger intercity and commuter railroads to establish and implement critical incident stress plans for railroad employees who are directly involved in, witness, or respond to a “critical incident”.  Such incidents include an accident or incident that results in loss of life, limb, or other serious injury, or, in the event of a catastrophic reportable incident, that could be reasonably expected to impair a directly-involved employee’s ability to perform his or her duties safely.  The Final Rule establishes minimum standards for employee training, leave, counseling, and other support services.  The effective date of the Final Rule is June 23, 2014.