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5/11/2004



Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF off to best safety performance start in nine years



Through 2004's first four months, Burlington Northern Santa Fe achieved its best safety performance to begin a year since 1995. At April's end, the Class I's injury-frequency ratio — or number of Federal Railroad Administration-reportable injuries per 200,000 manhours worked — was 1.53 compared with 1.66 at the end of March, according to a prepared statement.

During the first quarter, BNSF's transportation department recorded a 2.23 ratio — one of the department's best-ever quarterly performances — while the mechanical department registered a 1.27 ratio, a 40 percent decrease compared with first-quarter 2003's ratio.

The engineering department recorded two injuries, including one from production gangs who worked about a half-million manhours, leading to a 0.47 ratio.

"This outstanding safety record can be attributed to our 'Closed-Loop Safety Process,' our focus on critical work practices, the leadership of our site safety teams, the consistent effort of our first-line supervisors to drive this process, and the hard work and commitment of employees across the system," said Greg Stengem, BNSF vice president of safety, training and operations support. "We still have quite a bit of work to do to reach our goal of an injury-free workplace, but we are making tremendous progress."


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