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5/5/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF to review mechanical-procedure safety with FRA, labor-union officials



Burlington Northern Santa Fe plans soon to conduct mechanical-shop inspections with Federal Railroad Administration and labor union officials as part of the Safety Assurance and Compliance Process (SACP), a program designed to bring together management, labor and FRA to jointly improve safety.


Later this month, BNSF is scheduled to conduct an inspection in Temple, Texas, followed by inspections in Pasco, Wash., in the third quarter and Kansas City, Kan., in the fourth quarter.


"The purpose of these inspections is to review safety practices and policies at BNSF car mechanical facilities, and to develop recommendations that will enhance safety, compliance and performance," said FRA Chief Inspector George Soliz in a prepared statement.


Designed to be non-intrusive, each week-long inspection will include an opening meeting with local managers, and a summary and review of findings at week's end.


Each mechanical inspection team will comprise two FRA members, two BNSF managers, two labor-union representatives and one BNSF process specialist.


"An important part of these inspections will be interviews with employees and managers at each facility to determine how they view their roles and responsibilities," said Larry Cloyd, local Brotherhood of Railway Carmen chairman. "We really want to spend time with local employee and management teams at each facility to be sure we understand not only their practices and policies, but the rationale behind those practices."


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