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Two Hammond winners: CSXT, Montana Rail Link employees earn rail-safety award


Two 31-year rail-industry veterans recently received the coveted Harold F. Hammond Award for railroad safety for 2003.

Jerry Richardson, a locomotive electrician with CSX Transportation in Waycross, Ga., and Dennis Greenwalt, a carman with Montana Rail Link (MRL) in Laurel, Montana, were recognized during the annual E.H. Harriman Memorial Safety Awards program, held May 16 in Washington, D.C., marking the second time more than one person received the Hammond, which was established in 1986.

Richardson's "leadership and ingenuity were reflected directly in the safety performance of the Waycross Locomotive Shop, which broke all local records in 2002 by compiling 500,000 consecutive man-hours without a reportable injury," wrote CSXT Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward in nominating Richardson for the award.

As a member of Waycross Safety Committee, Richardson is active in joint labor-management safety initiatives and was directly involved in addressing and resolving about 600 system safety and employee issues raised in 2002, according to a prepared statement. Richardson’s observations "have led to initiatives that have directly benefited shop-floor safety, not just in Waycross, but across the system," Ward wrote. One such initiative led to development of a standardized set of diagrams for displaying Blue Signal Protection for locomotives and rail cars across the CSXT system.

Meanwhile, Greenwalt "was a key presenter in two recent MRL programs encouraging employees to accept accountability for each individual's actions," wrote MRL President Daniel Watts in nominating Greenwalt for the Hammond. "Our 'One on One' program carried the message that employees must accept the responsibility of warning each other of unsafe conditions or behaviors. In 2002, Dennis was instrumental in our follow-up program, 'Speak Up', which reinforces the attitude that our employees must be willing to communicate with one another when unsafe or hazardous conditions or actions are observed."

When Greenwalt observed a safety problem with roadways and crossings in the Laurel Yard area, he volunteered, with the help of his fellow carmen, to accept the grading job and then rebuilt each crossing, Watts wrote, adding that Greewalt also was responsible for identifying and eliminating a drainage problem that caused footing hazards for Laurel Yard carmen and switchmen. He also helps conduct annual system-wide environmental and behavioral safety audits and is a facilitator of local hazmat employee emergency response drills.

Five other railroad employees received Certificates of Commendation for their work in enhancing safety:

• David Cheviron, a carman with Norfolk Southern Railway in Fort Wayne, Ind.;

• James Martino, a captain with Amtrak's police department in San Jose, Calif.;

• Freddy Gallego, a locomotive general foreman with Union Pacific Railroad in Roseville, Calif.;

• James Quinten, a conductor with Burlington Northern Santa Fe in Tulsa, Okla.; and

• Donald Wood, a track foreman with Kansas City Southern in Mexico, Mo.

Named for the late Harold F. Hammond — a former Transportation Association of America president who for many years served Harriman Awards selection committee chairman — the award is presented to an individual railroad employee who has demonstrated outstanding safety achievement during the preceding year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/19/2003