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RAC tabs Lowenger as first safety culture officer


The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has appointed Mike Lowenger to the newly created position of chief safety culture officer.

The new post reflects the association's commitment to cultivating a safety culture in the rail industry, RAC officials said in a press release. The association, its members and Transport Canada have identified safety culture as a key element to an effective rail safety management system. The rail industry also has collaborated with academics to deliver a series of safety culture workshops across Canada geared at railroad operators.

Lowenger has served as RAC's vice president of operations and regulatory affairs since November 1998. He previously served CN from 1974 to late 1998 in various capacities, including several senior management positions.

Beginning March 30, Lowenger will work with members to develop a safety culture program that Canadian railroads can incorporate into their operations, RAC officials said.

"Improving railway safety culture is a worldwide endeavor and we want Canada to be on the leading edge," said Lowenger. "Our Canadian Class I railways are already invested in improving their safety cultures, and I’m excited to be a part of building on that foundation."

A lifelong railroader, Lowenger understands that rail safety begins and ends with people, said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bourque.

"By helping our members in developing their safety culture, he will further demonstrate the industry’s pledge to continuous safety progress," he said.