Safety Advisory: Risk of unqualified individuals participating in rail movements




Reference number
SA-RW 2021-02

This Safety Advisory is being issued to provincially-regulated railways and is subject to the Railway Act, Railway Safety Act, and associated regulations.


There is a hazard to safe railway operations when individuals who are not properly trained and qualified move or participate in the movement of railway equipment.

An employee at a provincially-regulated railway was recently seriously injured while assisting in moving railway equipment. This employee had not been trained or qualified to move railcars.

Recommended actions

In accordance with the Railway Safety Management System Regulations and the Railway Employee Qualification Standards Regulations, all provincially-regulated railways must train and certify their employees that participate in the movement of railway equipment.

Railways must comply with the Railway Employee Qualification Standards Regulations, which state in part:

No railway company shall permit any employee to work as a locomotive engineer, transfer hostler, conductor, or yard foreman unless the employee […] has qualified for that occupational category.

If your railway is unclear on the training and qualification requirements for your employees that participate in moving railway equipment at your site, please contact Technical Safety BC for clarification. Failure to properly train and qualify employees that are involved in moving railway equipment may result in enforcement measures being taken against the railway.


Arne Vigen
Technical Leader, Railway
Technical Safety BC

For additional information, please contact Technical Safety BC’s railway program administration at 778 396 2063 or email