Railroads Set Another Employee Safety Record in 2005

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  • Member since
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Railroads Set Another Employee Safety Record in 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 5:09 PM
From the NS website:

Railroads Set Another Employee Safety Record in 2005

News release courtesy of Association of American Railroads

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2006 — Employees at the nation's railroads reported their lowest employee casualty rate in history during 2005, Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, said today at a luncheon ceremony honoring railroads with the best employee safety records last year.

Twelve railroads received gold, silver or bronze E.H. Harriman Memorial Safety Awards in four separate categories at the awards luncheon.

Hamberger told the audience that the railroad industry employee casualty rate has dropped almost 70 percent over the past 15 years.

He called last year's achievement "remarkable," made more so by the record volumes of freight railroad handled and the thousands of new employees hired. He said the ability to reduce employee casualties in light of those two circumstances "is a tribute to railroad industry training programs and the dedication of our 225,000 employees."

The railroad industry has one of the most comprehensive and thorough training programs of any industry in the U.S. Many of those training programs are conducted in cooperation with local community colleges and offer classroom work as well as hands-on training. Major railroads also maintain their own high-tech training centers which include practice tracks where students work with locomotives and freight cars, and locomotive simulators that prepare students for conditions they will face while operating trains. Other specialized training is provided for track and signal maintenance workers as well as mechanics who repair locomotives and freight cars.

Norfolk Southern Corporation took top honors for the seventeenth consecutive year in Group A, comprised of line-haul railroads whose employees worked 15 million employee-hours or more during the award year. In this category, the silver award went to the BNSF Railway, while CSX Transportation took the bronze.

In Group B, line-haul railroads with 4 to 15 million employee-hours, Canadian Pacific Railway's U.S. subsidiary took the gold medal, moving up from the silver award it received last year. Kansas City Southern Railway received the silver medal while Metra, the Chicago commuter railroad, took the bronze medal.

In Group C, line-haul railroads with fewer than 4 million employee-hours, the Florida East Coast Railway took the gold medal. The silver medal went to Pan Am Railways while the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern earned the bronze.

For Group S&T, switching and terminal companies, the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis won the gold medal for the fourth consecutive year. Conrail was named winner of the silver medal, also for the fourth straight year, while the Belt Railway Company of Chicago took the bronze medal.

Four railroads received special certificates of commendation for continuous improvement in safety performance. They were BNSF Railway, Conrail, METRA and the Texas Mexican Railway, which is now part of Kansas City Southern.

The annual rail employee safety awards were founded in 1913 by the late Mrs. Mary W. Harriman in memory of her husband, Edward H. Harriman, a pioneer in American railroading. For many years, the program was sponsored by their two sons, E. Roland Harriman and the Honorable W. Averell Harriman, now both deceased. The awards are currently administered under the auspices of the E.H. Harriman Memorial Awards Institute, with support from the Mary W. Harriman Foundation.

At the time the Harriman Awards were founded, railroading was considered among the nation’s most dangerous occupations. However, employee injury rates have declined sharply — with almost an 80 percent decline just since 1980 — and today railroad employees have injury rates comparable to employees in retail stores and lower than those in other modes of transportation.

Winners are chosen by a committee of individuals in the transportation field. Awards are granted to railroads on the basis of the lowest casualty rates per 200,000 employee-hours worked, with a formula that takes into account the volume of work performed, as well as the number of fatalities, injuries and occupational illnesses, all documented and confirmed by the Federal Railroad Administration.


  • Member since
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Posted by emmar on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 7:21 PM
Way to go NS! [:)]
Winning 17 years in a row, thats crazy. I think the other railroads should get some pointers from NS (although it sounds like they are all doing pretty well too).
Yes we call it the Dinky. Why? Well cause it's dinky! Proud to be the official train geek of Princeton University!
  • Member since
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 6:46 AM
Congratulations to all of the Harriman Award winners, who work every day at making sure that "Safety First" is not an empty slogan.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
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  • From: Good ol' USA
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 9:27 AM
Though it reads as if NS management team is patting itself in the back, it is a good recognition for the hardworking transportation professionals.

I've spoken with a few CSX employees before. Not disgruntled ones, but dedicated professionals in management and trains service. Comments weren't overwhelmingly favorable.

Question: What is NS doing right that CSX isn't????

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"


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