Tuesday, May 01, 2012

NS shop: "Unprecedented safety milestone"

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

Norfolk Southern reports that employees at its Enola Locomotive Shop made history in March "as the first in the company to surpass 2 million employee-hours without an injury."

NS said the last reportable injury at the shop, located in Enola, Pa., occurred in May 2007. and "since then, shop employees have logged an average of 34,800 hours per month over 58 months without injury."

The 250 mechanics, electricians, sheet metal workers, and others maintain and repair Norfolk Southern's fleet of diesel locomotives, performing work ranging from locomotive oil changes and engine repairs to maintenance of air brakes and wheels. Employees can work on as many as 15 locomotives at one time in the shop, which occupies close to an acre.

"This achievement is a testament to the caliber of craftsmen working at the shop and our ability to work as a team," said Ernie McClellan, manager of the Enola Locomotive Shop. "Our employees have done an outstanding job communicating the importance of safety because, at the end of the day, we're watching out for one another."

Don Graab, NS vice president mechanical, said Enola employees are consistent leaders in working safely to resolve technical issues that affect locomotive performance. "This means locomotives spend less time in the shop and more time on the rails," Graab said.