Friday, April 07, 2017

Spring hazards a focus of SLSI tips

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Spring is here for most of North America, and the Short Line Safety Institute announced the second in a series of Safety Tips aimed at short line and regional railroads.

Focused on springtime challenges commonly experienced on railroads, weekly safety tips are provided on SLSI’s website and Facebook pages. The tips can be downloaded and printed for use in company safety briefings, or posting in employee break areas.

Examples of spring safety tip topics include:

1. Erosion - Erosion can be a factor in spring as the snow melts and softens the ground. Muddy areas can appear, and there is potential for clogged areas near culverts. Soil erosion could alter track conditions. Also, walking conditions can be affected by soil erosion and new growth of vegetation. When inspecting track this spring, ensure these areas are identified and addressed.

2. Snakes and Insects - Warmer weather awakens snakes, as well as biting and stinging insects. Be aware of where you step and when reaching into dark spaces with your hands

. 3. Melting snow - Mudslides, washouts, and other ground shifts can cause serious track obstructions. Review areas of concern, and have a plan for when these conditions are present.

4. Fog - Warmer weather means more fog, challenging visibility. Keep lights on for all vehicles and reduce speeds. When operating a motor vehicle in yards or around equipment, be extra vigilant for workers in the area.

5. Yard drainage - Springtime weather can be a concern when water collects in the low points of the yard. Discuss these areas with your team and ensure there is a plan for safe walking in yard areas.

The Safety Tip Tuesday Program, launched in January, provides a railroad safety tip each week, with specific attention being paid to unique seasonal challenges.

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