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Rail News: Labor

UP enhances training programs to help boost safety

More than 3,300 transportation craft professionals have attended the sessions since UP introduced a new training approach in January.
Photo – Union Pacific Railroad


Union Pacific Railroad posted progress in improving safety last year. The Class I had no work-related fatalities, registered a decline in serious injuries and experienced 26% fewer serious derailments in 2023 compared with 2022 figures.

But UP continues to seek and implement ways to reach a goal of world-class safety, according to an Inside Track item posted on the Class I’s website. For example, to help cultivate a safety-focused mindset within employee teams, UP recently implemented new policies and enhanced training for craft professionals across its 23-state network.

One such enhanced training program was launched in January. The training involves sessions that include face-to-face coaching and engagement between workers and local operating leaders who emphasize the importance of embracing safety as a core value. Since the launch, more than 3,300 transportation craft professionals have attended the sessions.

“Safety isn’t just about what the railroad’s doing; it’s about what an individual is doing and what’s on their mind. We all have things going on at home, but when we’re at work, we can’t be distracted,” Kary Cluck, a superintendent of train operations for UP, said in the article.

Session participants focus on UP’s “Go Home Safe” choices and related critical operating rules, including five for mechanical, six for engineering and 12 for train, engine and yard employees.

Cluck recently led a class for 10 craft professionals in Sparks, Nevada, that focused on risk identification and making better choices to prevent serious incidents and injuries.

“We don’t want anybody to get hurt. It’s about getting everybody on the same page with our expectations for safety,” said Cluck.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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