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Safety: BNSF's signal-department workers walk the walk

Safety has been top-of-mind for 99 workers in Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Southern California signal department.

During the past 396 days, employees haven't suffered a Federal Railroad Administration-reportable injury. And prior to the department's last reportable injury, workers recorded 486 injury-free days.

"I think our department has grasped the concept that all injuries are preventable," said Gene Kirkley, BNSF manager of signals, San Bernardino, in a prepared statement. "[Employees] have accepted their role in their own individual safety and that of their co-workers."

Signal maintainers, who work with live circuits, are on call 24/7, and toil in hot, cold, rainy and snowy conditions. To improve safety, they attend various training classes throughout the year, including fall protection, on-track safety and hazard recognition.

Department workers also try to focus on the task at hand, stay aware of their surroundings, recognize hazards and maintain a positive outlook, said Danny Corona, BNSF safety facilitator, San Bernardino.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/10/2002