Cindy Chew/2005 S.F. Examiner file photoThe National Transportation Safety Board issued recommendations Thursday that would require rail agencies nationwide to use extra safety systems to protect rail side workers in the wake of two BART workers who were killed Oct. 19.

Investigators urge safety rules for rail workers

Federal transportation safety officials are citing the deaths of two San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system workers this fall as evidence of the urgent need to increase protections for transit rail workers.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued recommendations Thursday. They would require rail transit agencies nationwide to use extra safety systems to protect rail side workers. These systems would help warn train drivers of workers on the tracks ahead.

A train struck the two BART track workers Oct. 19. They were using a safety protocol which relied on one watching for oncoming trains while the other inspected the track.

The safety board does not have the power to force changes. It is asking the Federal Transit Administration to require the extra safety protections.

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