October 31, 2014

AAR issues rail safety alert

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The Association of American Railroads has issued a safety alert for all railroads in North America. The safety alert is to advise of the recent discovery of barbed wire found on safety appliances of a multilevel car. This photograph was taken in the Quebec City, Quebec, area on March 26. “Please distribute this information to [...]

UP engineer rescues puppy tied to tracks

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MECCA, Calif. — Last week, a 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix was found tied to the railroad tracks. An engineer spotted an old man walking near the railroad tracks and noticed that the man had left something behind. The engineer was able to stop the train in time using his emergency brakes and discovered the pooch still [...]

2012 safest year in railroad history

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Last year was the safest year in the history of the railroad industry, based on performance measures tracked by the Federal Railroad Administration. For the fifth fiscal year in a row, the industry has improved on all six of the FRA’s official safety performance measures, including the rate of grade crossing incidents, human factor-caused train [...]

Distractions kill, maim and end careers

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Distractions occur everywhere in our daily lives, but when those in safety sensitive positions are distracted on the job, the results too often result in death or career-ending injuries. A collaborative effort among the Federal Railroad Administration, rail labor and carriers has been launched to educate and raise awareness through peer-to-peer programs of the dangers [...]

Arty Martin: “We will protect you”

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Reflecting on violence against air, bus and rail members, UTU International Assistant President Arty Martin told attendees at the union’s regional meeting here June 20 that protecting the working conditions and safety of members is among the highest of UTU objectives. “Our jobs are notoriously dangerous and we are going to insist [...]

Job briefings save limbs and lives

Safety 1st; Safety First

Job briefings can prevent serious injuries and fatalities, says the Federal Railroad Administration in a switching fatalities and severe injury update. The FRA cites 23 fatalities that have occurred as a result of what it terms “inadequate job briefings.” The FRA offers the following tips for “an effective job briefing”: * First, a job briefing [...]

NTSB urges action on speed-restriction complaince

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WASHINGTON – Warnings of speed violations have been issued by the National Transportation Safety Board, which urges unions, their members, carriers and the Federal Railroad Administration to work collaboratively to ensure compliance of train and engine crews with speed restrictions. The NTSB action followed its investigation of five rear-end collisions where the NTSB concluded that [...]

This is all about saving railroaders’ limbs and lives

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During the first six months of 2011, 37 serious injuries occurred during switching operations, resulting in three fatalities and eight amputations; while over the past two years, five rail workers have died in accidents involving rolling rail equipment. The Switching Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA) Working Group and the UTU Rail Safety Task Force have been [...]

Situational awareness saves limbs, lives, careers

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A UTU-member conductor employed by Canadian Pacific in LaCrosse, Wis., suffered a severe injury – being pinned beneath a freight car that derailed and tipped over — during a switching operation Sept. 5. The 43-year-old conductor had less than one year of service. During the first six months of 2011, 37 serious injuries occurred during [...]

NTSB: Latest safety recommendations

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board has updated its “Most Wanted” transportation safety improvements. Included are recommendations for improved bus, rail and aviation safety. Following are the NTSB’s comments of interest to UTU members: Fatigue Airplanes, buses and trains are complex machines that require the full attention of the operator, maintenance person and other [...]