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The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) today announced the recipients of the Jake Safety Awards, including 19 member railroads being recognized as President’s Safety Award winners.
The Jake Award program recognizes member railroads for above-industry average safety performance during 2020.
To be given a Jake Award, an ASLRRA member must perform better than the industry average reportable injury frequency rate for railroads other than Class Is, commuter railroads and Amtrak based on data reported to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) during the calendar year, and must have completed all FRA-required employee-on-duty reporting for 2020.
That average industry reportable injury frequency rate for 2020 was 2.18 per 200,000 employee on-duty hours.
Of the 346 Jake Award recipients, 316 member railroads will be honored "with Distinction" recognizing their FRA reportable injury-free performance in 2020.
"This year, ASLRRA member railroads reduced their injury rate by 10%, significantly outpacing the overall industry decline of 8% in an impressive year for railroad safety," said ASLRRA President Chuck Baker in a press release. "That includes a record 316 ASLRRA member railroads receiving Jake with Distinction Awards reflecting zero employee-on-duty accidents on their railroads in 2020."
The record in safety achievement "is a testament to each member’s focus on operating safely in spite of a disrupted and uncertain supply chain during the pandemic; investment in maintenance and new technology; and to the Short Line Safety Institute, which has provided significant leadership in the area of safety culture to short line railroads," Baker added.
Nineteen ASLRRA members are President’s Award Winners, designated as a Jake Award recipient that posts the lowest reportable injury frequency rate per FRA regulations as measured within man-hour categories. The awards will be presented at the 2021 ASLRRA Regional Meetings held this month.
The Jake Awards are named for Lowell S. "Jake" Jacobson, the former president and general manager of the Copper Basin Railway. After achieving a perfect safety record for the CBRY in 1993, Jacboson realized that there was no award that recognized smaller railroads' safety records. In 1999, the ASLRRA Safety Committee adopted the Jake Awards, and since then, has continued Jacobson's legacy of rewarding and drawing attention to the high safety standards of the small-railroad industry.