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Rail News: Safety

AAR promotes best safety practices at first-ever leadership forum


The Association of American Railroads (AAR) yesterday recognized the industry's overall safety achievements by highlighting best practice accomplishments at the first-ever Railroad Safety Leadership Forum, which was held in Chicago. The AAR organized the event to acknowledge railroad team achievements in personal safety and injury prevention, and to provide a venue to share best practices.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 2012 was the rail industry's safest year, with improvements registered in casualty, train accident and crossing incident rates.

"The dedication and hard work of our employees make rail the safest mode of transportation today," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger in a press release. "It is the industry's No. 1 priority to invest and implement new safety technologies, as well as provide the necessary employee safety training, so that rail transportation gets safer every year."

The AAR acknowledged the following railroad teams and programs:

• Amtrak's Southwest Division cross-functional team, which worked for more than a year to evaluate the risk of injury to passengers and employees due to excess carry-on luggage on Pacific Surfliner trains.

• Anacostia and Pacific Co. Inc.'s safety program that's based on an employee-driven, management-supported and people-based safety process.

• BNSF Railway Co.'s Cherokee Yard Process of Human Error Removal (CYPHER) team that manages a peer-led program focusing on a proactive approach to addressing safety using a peer-to-peer observation and feedback process to encourage safe and positive workplace behaviors.

• CN's Michigan Division, which developed a program based on principals of the Class I's safety management system that includes a visible leader coaching employees, encouraging employee involvement in safety committees and mentoring new hires.

• Canadian Pacific's Thief River Falls Terminal in Minnesota that has not had a significant incident or FRA reportable injury in more than 11 years.

• CSX Corp.'s Locomotive Cab Committee, a cross-functional group comprising representatives from the labor, mechanical and safety departments.

• Iowa Pacific Holdings/West Texas & Lubbock Railroad's "Pursuit of a Higher Standard‚" program that stresses individual and shared responsibility for safety, identifies emerging safety issues and enhances employee training programs, including a focus on communication, coaching and mentoring.

• Kansas City Southern's Operation Lifesaver program team, which works to increase grade crossing safety awareness, form more community outreach and law enforcement initiatives, and deliver better education offerings to support collision and trespassing prevention.

• Metra's Rocket House Safety Captains Team that serves as an autonomous group of concerned employees who oversee the safety for all employees, commuters and public members.

• Norfolk Southern Railway's St. Louis Terminal Safety and Service Committee, which promotes teamwork across all operating departments and strives to find innovative ways to improve safety and customer service.

• Union Pacific Railroad's Hooper Junction Project that in 2009 implemented a Total Safety Culture, a peer-to-peer safety process that focuses on the environment, behavior and people.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/25/2013