Lac-Mégantic: Federal guidelines finalized months before disaster

Transport Canada finalized guidelines on risk factors for trains operated by a single person just months before the disaster in Lac-Mégantic.

Guidelines spelled out risk factors involved with single-operator trains, including human factors

The MMA locomotive that led the train that crashed in Lac-Mégantic is pictured going through Nantes, Que. on June 7, 2010. Dozens of locomotives once owned by the railroad responsible for last year's deadly derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec have been sold at an auction in Maine, except for the lead locomotive which was pulled from the auction at the request of Quebec provincial police. (Andre St-Amant / CP)

Transport Canada finalized guidelines on risk factors for trains operated by a single person just months before the disaster in Lac-Mégantic.

They included more than a dozen "human factors" such as amount of sleep, health, age, lifestyle and workload demands — and the best way to deal with them.

The guidelines, finalized in May 2013, were intended to help Transport Canada staff evaluate risk assessments filed by railways operating trains with just a single employee.

In July of last year, a 72-car train that had been parked for the night rolled into Lac-Mégantic and derailed, creating a fireball that killed 47 people, destroyed buildings and contaminated waterways.

The now-defunct Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway and three employees — including the train's sole operator — face charges of criminal negligence causing death.

The Transportation Safety Board is set to release its final report tomorrow on the devastating accident, including the railway's use of a one-man crew.

CBC News will have live coverage of the TSB news conference online and on CBC News Network Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.