Denver, CO: UP reports on improved crossing safety

4 Apr

Union Pacific Railroad’s Denver Service Unit, which includes about 1,700 miles of track across Colorado and parts of Wyoming, Utah and Kansas, improved community and employee safety in 2015. The service unit reported 36 percent fewer railroad crossing incidents in 2015 versus 2014, reflecting progress educating the driving public about rail safety. Additionally, the service unit’s reportable employee injury rate improved 27 percent from 1.82 in 2014 to 1.32 in 2015, demonstrating progress toward achieving zero employee injuries.

A railroad’s reportable injury rate is the total number of injuries reported to the Federal Railroad Administration per 200,000 employee hours, which is equivalent to 100 employees working a full year.

“Employees are committed to safety as our No. 1 priority,” said Ron Tindall, Denver Service Unit superintendent. “They are dedicated to working safely, keeping their peers safe and educating their communities how to behave safely around railroad tracks.”

The Denver Service Unit is focused on employee engagement and several related initiatives as the foundation of its safety success:

  • Total Safety Culture (TSC), an employee-owned, voluntary process that includes training, observations and feedback. In TSC, employees compliment each other on safe behaviors, while intervening in a positive way to address at-risk behaviors.
  • Courage to Care, a personal pledge to safety that represents personal accountability and strengthens the degree to which each and every employee prioritizes safety as an issue. Many Denver Service Unit employees have embraced this pledge ‘go home safe’ for the sake of themselves and their families.

Union Pacific’s Denver Service Unit employees also committed to educating the public about railroad safety. The Service Unit utilized employee-led quarterly awareness campaigns, coordinated community outreach with Operation Lifesaver, and utilized data to direct their outreach activities to appropriate grade crossing locations.

Additionally, Union Pacific launched an online railroad safety campaign on social media in October 2015. The campaign’s key message is “Your Life is Worth the Wait,” urging drivers and pedestrians to think about their personal safety first and wait at grade crossings. A series of videos depict scenarios in which a jogger, young couple and father and son are stopped, waiting for a train to pass. When the arms lift, each proceeds safely toward a spectacular future.

Union Pacific employees set a systemwide all-time reportable personal injury rate record in 2015, improving 11 percent from 2014 to 0.87, making Union Pacific the safest Class 1 railroad in the United States, according to data reported by the FRA. Union Pacific’s railroad system includes more than 40,000 employees operating in 23 states and 7,300 communities.

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