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Rail News: Safety

BNSF begins safety campaign to reverse recent rash of injuries

Yesterday, Burlington Northern Santa Fe launched "Safety Team Focus," an initiative designed to enhance awareness and reduce on-the-job injuries. So far in 2004, employees' safety focus has been a bit blurry: The Class I's year-to-date reportable injuries and injury frequency have increased 19 percent and 15 percent, respectively, compared with a similar 2003 period.

"Many work teams have outstanding safety performances so far this year, including several large teams working injury free," said Greg Stengem, BNSF vice president of safety, training and operations support, in a prepared statement. "Overall, however, we are not moving in the right direction toward our goal of eliminating injuries and accidents."

From March 15 to June 27, field supervisors will conduct detailed job safety briefings on critical work activities, and spend three weeks covering a topic through talking points, behavioral checklists and quizzes. Topics include pinch points, overexertion, hand tools, walking on the job, and track and equipment safety.

"This campaign will help focus our efforts on those key work practices where many of our injuries are occurring," said Stengem. "A commitment to this safety challenge will help BNSF achieve its safety goals and, more important, help ensure an injury-free spring."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/16/2004