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Rail News: Safety

Watco Cos.' new safety head strives to halve accidents, injuries in 2004


On the job for just two months as The Watco Cos.' safety director, Gary Vaughn envisions a much safer short-line holding company next year.

"We are going to reduce human-factor accidents and injuries by no less than 50 percent in 2004," he said in Watco's December newsletter. "We will do this by creating a support structure for our employees to follow, and giving them the tools and support they need to succeed."

The support structure will come from a new safety department — to be launched next year — comprising Vaughn and four safety managers charged with managing specific regions.

"Implementing regional managers will allow us to manage more effectively and efficiently," said Vaughn. "We will provide all training and compliance support for all locations."

Prior to Watco — which owns seven short lines operating in 10 states — Vaughn served Norfolk and Western Railroad, and RailTex Inc. in a number of capacities, including telegrapher, tower operator, crew dispatcher, signal maintainer, trainmaster, operational manager, system superintendent, general manager, and regional manager for safety and operating practices.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/15/2003