Two Trainmen Win 2011 Hammond Award

Joseph Faigl, a conductor with Union Pacific Railroad, and Mark Sheffield, mechanical supervisor with the South Buffalo Railway Company, received the award for outstanding safety achievement during the preceding year.

Joseph Faigl, a conductor with Union Pacific Railroad (UP), and Mark Sheffield, mechanical supervisor with the South Buffalo Railway Company, have received the 2011 Harold F. Hammond Award for outstanding safety achievement during the preceding year. While Faigl has headed several best practices efforts at the Green River, Wyo., UP yard, and earned the railroad's highest safety distinction, the 2011 Kenefick Safety Award, Sheffield as co-leader of the Buffalo District Safety Improvement Team helped to keep that 45-person operation injury free since September 2007, according to UP.

UP President and CEO Jack Koraleski said Faigl, who has 13 injury-free years to his credit, inspires others to create and maintain a top-notch safety culture, having headed local efforts to galvanize participation in UP's employee-owned Total Safety Culture (TSC) program, increasing overall safety compliance, "boosting program participation to 60 percent from 15 percent, lowering incidents by 20 percent, and vaulting the Green River yard from last place to within the top two safety-performing yards in UP's entire system. His guidelines for safe pinning and kicking operations have resulted in an 80 percent reduction in human-factor incidents in the yard," the railroad's news release stated.

As for Sheffield, Genesee & Wyoming President and CEO John Hellmann cited his consistent dedication to safety while never missing a day of work during 14 injury-free years with the company. Sheffield is a leader on the company's Safety Blitzes –- three-person, one-day safety audits –- with many of his initiatives involving safely dealing with Buffalo's severe winters. Some, such as an annual Operation Clean Sweep Day aimed at removing trip-and-fall hazards such as litter that can be hidden beneath snow, have grown into programs now used across Genesee & Wyoming's 65 railroads.

Five other workers who were nominated for the award received certificates of commendation:

  • Matthew Lehr, a switchman at BNSF Railway
  • Brian Burma, carman at Canadian Pacific
  • Larry James, division safety coordinator at CSX Transportation
  • Tom Usnick, locomotive engineer at Kansas City Southern Railway
  • Robert Stokes, locomotive engineer at Norfolk Southern

The Hammond Award is named for the late Harold F. Hammond, former president of the Transportation Association of America.

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