217.370.8505 cory@bletislb.org

NS agrees to settlement in worker health, safety investigations at East Palestine

Norfolk Southern Railway has entered into a settlement agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division-International Brotherhood of Teamsters over workplace safety issues related to the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today.

OSHA opened enforcement inspections on March 2 to assess the union’s concerns for the health of workers rebuilding tracks and conducting cleanup operations near the derailment site, labor department officials said in a press release.

Under terms of the settlement, NS has agreed to:

• implement a medical surveillance program for all affected employees who worked at the derailment site;

• provide union employees with 40 hours of Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training for future derailments;

• create a training program on lessons learned from the Ohio derailment; and

• pay penalties assessed by OSHA for four safety and health violations.

OSHA’s investigations included personal and area air samplings for workers involved in site and water cleanup, including NS employees installing new railroad track at the site.

“This agreement will improve the safety and health controls in place for Norfolk Southern employees who responded and help educate the rail operator’s employees on the lessons learned so they are prepared should another emergency occur,” said OSHA Area Office Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland.