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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

NTSB surveys Norfolk Southern employees on company's safety culture


By Julie Sneider, Senior Editor

The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting a survey of Norfolk Southern Railway's workforce to evaluate the Class I's safety culture.

The survey is part of the NTSB's special investigation into the safety culture following a number of significant accidents at the railroad that date back to December 2021. The board began the investigation in March 2023, about a month after the Feb. 3, 2023, NS train derailment and subsequent hazardous material release and fires in East Palestine, Ohio.

"NTSB is investigating a number of accidents involving NS and decided that a deeper look into the safety culture was warranted," said NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway in an email. "The NTSB goal is to urge the company to take action to review and assess its safety practices, with the input of employees and others, and implement necessary changes to improve safety."

Conducting such surveys "is not a regular occurrence" for the board, but it’s necessary to obtain information needed for the special investigation, Holloway added.

The survey began April 3 and will be conducted through April 19.

The NTSB's final report on its East Palestine investigation is expected to be released in late June, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy has said.

According to a survey fact sheet posted on the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen's (BLET) website, the board coordinated with NS and union leadership to reach all employees. The survey is confidential, voluntary and responses are being collected anonymously, they said.

BLET leaders are encouraging all its members who work at NS to complete the survey.

Since March 2023, NS has announced a number of actions to improve safety at the railroad. Also, the Federal Railroad Administration last year conducted a two-month safety assessment at NS following the East Palestine derailment.



Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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