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Union Pacific set safety record in 2012

Union Pacific Railroad's safety performance in 2012 was the best in the Class I's 150-year history, UP officials announced yesterday. The railroad achieved a 1.01 reportable injury rate, surpassing the previous record of 1.15 set in 2011.

From 2002 to 2012, UP's reportable injury rate — the total number of injuries reported to the Federal Railroad Administration per 200,000 manhours — improved by 58 percent.

"Our injury-rate improvement is evidence of our employees' personal commitment to actively caring for their fellow employees, practicing behaviors such as peer-to-peer observation and feedback," said Bob Grimaila, UP's vice president of safety, security and environment. "Our safety leadership development and continuous process improvement team efforts, including those driving down operational variability to provide a more predictable work environment, also play key roles in safety results."

In addition, UP relies on technology to improve safety. For example, many employees receive comprehensive on-the-job training via computer software that teaches them how to maneuver locomotives in yards, operate switches and sort rail cars onto different tracks based on destination.

"This video simulation technology gives employees an opportunity to practice what they have learned in the classroom before they work outside in the real-world rail yard," UP officials said.

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