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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

SLSI offers new safety culture educational materials


The Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) has published several new online resources designed to address identified opportunities for improving the safety culture at short lines.

"Based on areas of opportunity identified from a thorough results analysis of the 97 Safety Culture Assessments completed to date, [our] experts have developed new resources to assist short line railroads in improving specific elements of a strong safety culture," said SLSI Executive Director Tom Murta in a press release.

The SLSI works with railroads to identify opportunity areas and to create resources, tools and programs that support elevating safety culture improvements over time.

Murta encouraged short lines to make use of three new offerings: a Safety Communication Poster Program, a "Lost in Translation" paper and a HazMat Minute and Safety Minute video series.

Recently, the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Research, Development and Technology released the results of SLSI’s 2020 Systematic Review of Safety Culture Assessments conducted on short lines. One identified opportunity to improve safety culture is the quality and quantity of safety communication. In response to this finding, the SLSI developed the poster program.

The Lost in Translation paper highlights potential obstacles, provides tips on how to overcome those obstacles and stresses the importance of clear and frequent communication.

Safety Culture Assessments over the past five years have also identified hazardous materials exercises and training as an improvement area. In response, SLSI created the HazMat Minute video series, which addresses regulations, including the Emergency Response Guidebook, placard essentials, position-in-train documentation.

Similarly, the "Safety Minute" video series was created to assist railroads in mitigating risks commonly found on railroads. The subjects selected mirror the Safety Tips presented monthly. Launched in 2017, the Safety Tip program was created in response to an industry request for materials to provide at safety briefings.