Technical Reports

Guidelines for the Specification of Blue Safety Flags in Railroad Operations

  • 01
  • Dec
  • 2010
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-10/15
KEYWORDS: Blue Flag; Railroad Safety; Color Code
ABSTRACT: Blue flag protection in the railroad industry provides safety to workers from the inadvertent movement of equipment on which they are working. Current Federal regulations provide minimum specifications for the devices that can be used as blue flags, allowing many devices to be used as long as they are blue. Safety standards developed by national and international committees that have been adopted throughout a wide variety of high hazard industries, however, require greater specificity in the design of safety signs and signals. An analysis of 11 commercially available blue safety flag products revealed that 5 did not meet any safety standards beyond the minimum government regulations, and only 1 met the requirements of the most stringent safety code. Recommendations are provided for blue safety flags that are consistent with the current meaning and use in the railroad industry and that meet current safety code guidelines.
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