Monday, January 28, 2013

UP employees achieve new safety record

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

Union Pacific's 2012 employee safety performance was the best in the company's 150-year history—a 1.01 reportable injury rate, surpassing the former record of 1.15 achieved in 2011. From 2002 to 2012, employees improved their reportable injury rate by 58%.

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

"Our injury-rate improvement is evidence of our employees' personal commitment to actively caring for their fellow employees, practicing behaviors such as peer-to-peer observation and feedback," said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific vice president-Safety, Security and Environment. "Our safety leadership development and continuous process improvement team efforts, including those driving down operational variability to provide a more predictable work environment, also play key roles in safety results."

Union Pacific utilizes innovative technology to improve employee safety, as well. For example, many employees receive comprehensive on-the-job training through computer software that teaches them how to maneuver locomotives in rail yards, operate switches and sort rail cars onto different tracks based on rail car destination. This video simulation technology gives employees an opportunity to practice what they have learned in the classroom before they work outside in the real-world rail yard.