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Rail News: Labor

BNSF employees remain 'On Guard' for suspicious items, activity


Burlington Northern Santa Fe's year-old "On-Guard" program is paying dividends in security awareness among employees. This year, workers have reported about 50 major and minor security incidents through the program, which is designed to encourage employees to report trespassers, suspicious behavior or activities, and security violations.

Last month, two carmen at a Havre, Mont., yard spotted a small, bloody carry-on bag near a rail car and alerted BNSF's Resource Protection Solutions Team (RPST) and the terminal manager. While an RPST agent conducted a search, a train engineer discovered a body 120 miles east of Havre that had matching identification to the bag.

"By reporting the unattended carry bag, these employees showed their concern for the security of the railroad," said BNSF Special Agent Tom Anderson in a prepared statement, adding that the investigation could have been tied up for weeks without the workers assistance.

Also last month, an employee noticed a food service contractor left a security door open after delivering lunch to a BNSF office building. After closing the door, the worker altered the railroad's safety coordinator, who contacted RPST.

"We encourage all of our employees to do their part, stay alert and report any suspicious occurrences," said Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Carl Ice.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/21/2004