DENNY D’s DID YOU KNOW

Confirming Set and Centered

Safety Rule 81.5.4 

I put out a post on this before, and it is worth repeating due to a manager pointing this out during a recent observation.

It is important to pay attention to the wording on how Red Zone Protection is requested, confirmed, and released. There is a great number of us not doing it properly. 

The first sentence of establishing a Red Zone applies to an engineer or primary remote control operator only. The engineer must verify a set and centered before he can enter the red zone on a track with an occupied engine. No radio confirmation or whistle is signal required for the engineer to enter his own red zone.

The rest of the rule for requesting, confirming, and releasing applies to the other crew members. The conductor, switchman, brakeman, utility man, the RCO operator not in control of the box, etc...

The request can be done face to face, agreed upon hand signal, or over the radio. 

The engineer can only confirm set and centered by the radio or whistle signal if hand signal is used. It is important to note that it does not say face to face as an option. This is the part that managers are taking exception to.

Releasing the red zone can be cleared and confirmed via face to face job briefing , radio signal, or hand signal. 

It can be argued that if I can confirm the release completely face to face that I should be able to confirm set and centered via face to face. Unfortunately the rule is not written that way. Look for a change to come allowing this, but until then, I suggest complying with the process.