Thursday, March 05, 2009

NS honors mechanical employees' safety record

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Norfolk Southern says the employees in its mechanical department turned in a history-making safety performance in 2008, completing the year with a reportable injury ratio of 0.53, the lowest ever achieved by any operating department at Norfolk Southern.

The ratio represents the number of reportable injuries for every 200,000 man-hours worked, the industry standard for measuring safety performance. NS has 5,800 mechanical department employees responsible for maintaining 3,976 locomotives and 94,660 freight cars. In 2008, department employees worked a total 11.9 million man-hours.

NS honored the achievement, along with other departments and employees with outstanding safety accomplishments and 31 workers who performed heroic acts during the year, at its annual safety awards meeting Wednesday in Norfolk, Va.

Steve Tobias, vice chairman and chief operating officer, told this year’s attendees that the company, through their efforts, had created a culture of safety.  “Safety is not the result of rules, practices, engineering, and enforcement.  These things are integral to the safety process, but they don’t make people work safely,” he said.  “What causes a person to work safely and what causes ac ompany to be centered on safety is when safety becomes the core value of the individual and the company.”