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NS mechanical department sets injury ratio record in '08


Last year, Norfolk Southern Railway’s mechanical department registered a reportable injury ratio of 0.53 — the lowest-ever ratio achieved by any NS operating department, according to the Class I.

A safety performance metric, the ratio represents the number of reportable injuries for every 200,000 manhours worked. The mechanical department, manned by 5,800 employees who maintain the railroad's 3,976 locomotives and 94,660 freight cars, logged a total 11.9 million manhours in 2008.

"Safety is not the result of rules, practices, engineering and enforcement. These things are integral to the safety process, but they don't make people work safely," said Steve Tobias, NS’ vice chairman and chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. "What causes a person to work safely and what causes a company to be centered on safety is when safety becomes the core value of the individual and the company."

Yesterday, NS honored the achievements of the mechanical department and other NS departments at its annual safety awards meeting, which was held in Norfolk, Va. The Class I has conducted the event every year since 1987.

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More News from 3/5/2009