Guideline for Bridge Safety Management

Part B – Qualifications and Designation of Responsible Persons

1.1 – Scope

The railway company BSMP should describe the qualification, training or experience of persons who perform functions related to the integrity and safety of bridges.

1.2 – Bridge Safety Management Responsibility

The railway company BSMP should identify responsibilities and accountabilities of positions involved in the management of bridge safety. To demonstrate this, an organizational chart illustrating the chain of responsibility may be used.

1.3 – Railway Bridge Engineer

A Railway Bridge Engineer designated by the railway company is a Professional Engineer who is responsible for and has the related experience in the following functions:

  1. Determining the forces and stresses in bridges and their components;
  2. Prescribing safe loading conditions for bridges;
  3. Prescribing inspection, maintenance, repair and modification procedures for bridges;
  4. Designing repairs and modifications to bridges; and
  5. Deciding the extent to which Professional Engineers and others shallFootnote 2 be directly involved in the engineering work.

A Railway Bridge Engineer should be authorized to restrict the operation of traffic over a bridge according to its immediate condition or state of repair.

Section Analysis 1.3 - Railway Bridge Engineer

Railway Bridge Engineering is based on the same principles of engineering as all other structural engineering work, but the application of many of those principles is unique to this particular field. The live loads carried on railway bridges are generally much higher than the loads on highway bridges or other transportation structures. The configuration and details of construction differ from other classes of structures, to the extent that dealing with these features requires some experience with them as well as an understanding of the fundamentals of engineering.

It is understood that not all Railway Bridge Engineers will be faced with all aspects of railway bridge engineering. For example, an engineer engaged in prescribing safe loads for short steel spans and timber trestles on a particular railway might never have to perform a detailed analysis of a large truss bridge. The basic premise is that the Railway Bridge Engineer is competent to perform the functions that are encompassed by that individual's employment or engagement.

1.4 – Railway Bridge Inspector

A Railway Bridge Inspector is a person who is designated by a railway company, and deemed to be technically competent and has the related experience to view, measure, report, and record the condition of a bridge and its individual components, under the direction of a designated Railway Bridge Engineer.

A Railway Bridge Inspector should be authorized to restrict the operation of traffic over a bridge according to its immediate condition or state of repair.

Section Analysis 1.4 - Railway Bridge Inspector

Railway Bridge Inspectors should be able to understand and carry out the inspection procedure, including accessing inspection points on a bridge, measuring components, as required and recording any changes, clearly describing conditions found, and detecting the development of conditions that are critical to the safety of the bridge.

A Railway Bridge Inspector who detects a potential hazard to safe railway operations should be authorized to place appropriate restrictions on the operation of traffic and communicate with the Railway Bridge Engineer for further instructions.

1.5 - Designation of Individuals

The railway company should designate individuals qualified as Railway Bridge Engineers and Railway Bridge Inspectors. The records should include the basis for the designation (qualifications and related experience) in effect. The railway company should record designations of individuals doing work on their behalf, regardless of whether the work is conducted by railway employees or independent contractors e.g. consultants or contractors.

Section Analysis 1.5 - Designation of Individuals

If an independent contractor has several individuals performing the described functions under a contract or other engagement, then one or more individuals should be designated as being responsible for the work performed under that engagement.

In the case of independent contractor engaged by the railway company to provide engineering services, and act as the Railway Bridge Engineer, the railway company can specify in its BSMP that the record of designation is the signature and seal of the responsible Professional Engineer affixed to the documents, and the basis for the designation is licensure as a Professional Engineer