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BNSF bestows 'Bell' awards to honor units' safety performance


Burlington Northern Santa Fe recently presented 2003 Safety Bell Awards to recognize divisions', shops' and other work teams' safety performance.

Last year, those units helped BNSF reduce its employee injury frequency to 1.74 injuries per 200,000 manhours worked — a 17 percent decrease compared with 2002. The Class I also reduced injury severity 17 percent, resulting in fewer lost work days due to injury.

The railroad presents Safety Bells to transportation, mechanical and engineering units that achieve the best frequency and severity ratio, and most improved frequency/severity index. BNSF also bestows a "Special Recognition Bell" award to a work team that achieves outstanding safety performance while logging more than 1 million manhours, and a "Best Derailment Performance Bell" to recognize a unit's performance based on cost factors and such derailment statistics as reportable and non-reportable human factors, and yard derailments.

Transportation group winners are the Nebraska Division for best frequency ratio; Montana Division, best severity ratio; Southwest Division, most improved frequency/severity index; and Montana and Southwest divisions (tie) for best derailment performance.

In the mechanical group, winners are the Barstow and Gledive shops (tie) for best frequency ratio; Barstow, Topeka and Glendive shops (tie), best severity ratio; and Barstow shop, most improved frequency/severity index.

Engineering group winners are the signal southwest group for best severity ratio; signal southeast group, best frequency ratio; signal southeast group, most improved frequency/severity index; and structures team, special recognition award.

"[The award winners] are role models for safe production at BNSF, and helped lead the way in what was an outstanding year in safety," said Greg Stengem, BNSF vice president of safety, training and operations support, in a prepared statement.

Winners receive a trophy, which includes a bell formerly used on a BNSF or predecessor railroad locomotive.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/19/2004