WSR 04-21-047




[ Filed October 18, 2004, 8:37 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The commission will consider in Docket No. TR-041051 whether to amend WAC 480-60-035 to specify the size of crushed rock material to be used on walkways on switching leads used by railroad employees in railroad yards. In particular, the commission will consider whether to adopt a standard of 3/4 inch rock for walkways on switching leads.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 80.01.040, 81.44.010, 81.44.020, 81.28.010, 81.28.240.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The current walkway rule adopted in 2000, WAC 480-60-035, suggests, but does not require the use of 3/4 inch crushed rock for switching lead walkways. The United Transportation Union (UTU) filed a petition for rule making with the commission on June 9, 2004, requesting adoption of the 3/4 inch standard for rock on switching lead walkways. The UTU asserted that railroads in Washington state were not adhering to the suggestion for 3/4 inch rock on switching lead walkways and that conditions on these walkways were deteriorating rather than being improved. The UTU asserts that railroad employees perform most of their work on switching leads. A good walkway surface reduces repetitive motion injuries and tripping incidents. The rule-making process will determine whether establishing a standard rock size for switching lead walkways would reduce discretion on rock size and make working conditions safer for railroad employees.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. A workshop of labor and management representatives and other interested stakeholders will be held. Notice will be provided.

Interested persons may contact the Executive Secretary, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250, (360) 664-1174, fax (360) 586-1150.

WRITTEN COMMENTS AND STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP: Written comments may be submitted to the commission at the address given above and should be filed with the commission no later than December 20, 2004, for consideration at the January 18, 2005, stakeholder workshop.

Electronic copies. The commission requests that comments be provided in electronic format to enhance public access, for ease of providing comments, to reduce the need for paper copies, and to facilitate quotations from the comments. Comments may be submitted by electronic mail to the commission's records center at Please include:

The docket number of this proceeding (Docket No. TR-041051).
The commenting party's name.
The title and date of the comment or comments.
An alternative method for submitting comments may be by mailing/delivering an electronic copy on a 3 1/2 inch, IBM-formatted, high-density disk, in .pdf Adobe Acrobat format or in Word 97 or later. Include all of the information requested above. The commission will post on the commission's web site all comments that are provided in electronic format. The web site is located at If you are unable to file your comments electronically or to submit them on a disk, the commission will always accept a paper document.

Opportunity for further comment is anticipated. Information about the schedule and other aspects of the rule making, including comments, will be posted on the commission's web site as it becomes available. If you wish to receive further information on this rule making you may (1) call the commission's records center at (360) 664-1234, (2) e-mail the commission at <>, or (3) mail written comments to the address above to the attention of Carole J. Washburn, Secretary. When contacting the commission, please refer to Docket No. TR-041051 to ensure that you are placed on the appropriate service list. Questions may be addressed to Mike Rowswell at (360) 664-1265 or e-mail at


TO CONTINUE RECEIVING NOTICES AND INFORMATION ABOUT THIS RULE MAKING -- The commission wants to ensure its mailings are sent to persons who are interested in the topic and want to receive that information. ANY PERSON WHO COMMENTS will continue to receive notices and information. If you do not submit comments but wish to remain on the mailing list for this rule making, please advise the records center by any one of the following methods: (1) Send a note with your name, address (or a copy of your mailing label), phone and fax numbers, referencing Docket No. TR-041051 and the words "Please keep me on the mailing list"; or (2) e-mail your name, address, phone and fax numbers, referencing Docket No. TR-041051 and the words "Please keep me on the mailing list" to <>. Please note that all information in the mailings will be accessible through the commission's internet web site at <>. THOSE PARTIES WHO DO NOT RESPOND MAY NOT RECEIVE FURTHER MAILINGS OR INFORMATION ON THE RULE MAKING.

October 18, 2004

Carole J. Washburn

Executive Secretary

by C. Robert Wallace

Legislature Code Reviser 


Washington State Code Reviser's Office