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May 13, 2014
Railroads recognize best practices in safety. What can you learn?

Members of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) met recently to highlight best practices in safety and injury prevention. AAR president Ed Hamberger says a combination of innovation and hard work has made the railroad industry one of the safest for employees.

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Check out the good ideas that were recognized at the annual Railroad Safety Leadership Forum in Atlanta.

BNSF Railway Co. employees embrace peer-to-peer and behavior-based safety programs that proactively identify exposure to risk and reinforce safe behaviors with positive feedback.

CN’s Harrison Hump Yard in Memphis has avoided recordable injuries for more than a year through strong leadership, a focus on employee engagement, teamwork, and an overall commitment to safety. A joint management/union local safety committee plays a key role, leading safety outreach and encouraging peer conversations about safety topics.

Canadian Pacific’s Chase Work Equipment Shop and Milwaukee Operations passed 5,000 days (that’s more than 14 years!) without a Federal Railroad Administration recordable injury. The two key factors in this impressive streak are daily safety briefings and a collaborative approach to safety.

CSX’s Rule Simplification Team addressed the need to make it easier for employees to understand operational rules. A joint labor/management team reviewed all rules with a mandate to reorganize and rewrite them, making them shorter and easier to teach and understand.

Norfolk Southern’s Detroit Terminal Safety and Service committee focuses on recognizing safe behaviors and coaching employees for peak safety performance. The emphasis is on safety culture and peer-to-peer interaction.

Union Pacific’s Houston Service Unit Derailment Prevention Team used data from an eight-step problem-solving process to identity the top three causes of human factor derailments—shoving, activities around a switch, and employees with fewer than five years of service. The findings resulted in implementation of several new safety tools, including a job-briefing book and visual management job aids.

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