"In the event of a train derailment, emergency response personnel should always be aware of the potential for serious injury when working in and around rail cars, tracks and related equipment. The potential for injury always exists, especially if a fire or spill is involved. Regardless of the scope and magnitude of an incident, it is imperative that responders are keenly aware of the proper precautions to take to prevent injury and death. The following safe operating practices should be followed when personnel are engaged in emergency response operations at the scene of a crude oil train derailment: (1) Expect a train or rail equipment to move on any track from either direction at any time; (2) Watch for movement in both directions before crossing tracks. If the tracks are clear, walk single file at a right angle to the rails. Do not occupy the area between adjacent tracks in multiple track territory when a train is passing. If crossing between two stationary railcars, ensure that there is at least 50 feet between them; (3) Trains can approach with little or no warning. You may not be able to hear them due to atmospheric conditions, terrain, noisy work equipment, or passing trains on other tracks. Stand a minimum of 25 feet away from the tracks if possible, and face the train when rail equipment is passing through."
Coffee Break Training - Hazardous Materials Series No. HM-2014-5
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/