Union Pacific Sets New Safety Record

Employees achieved a 1.01 reportable injury rate, surpassing the previous lowest rate of 1.15 in 2011. From 2002 to 2012, the reportable injury rate fell by 58 percent.

Union Pacific Railroad announced Jan. 29 that its 2012 employee safety performance was the best in the company's 150-year history: Employees achieved a 1.01 reportable injury rate, surpassing the previous lowest rate of 1.15 in 2011. The announcement said from 2002 to 2012, the reportable injury rate fell by 58 percent.

The Omaha, Neb.-based railroad's announcement singled out the Twin Cities Service Unit for achieving a 70 percent improvement from 2001 to 2012, with an employee reportable injury rate of 0.56 in the latter year. This unit has about 900 employees and more than 650 miles of track in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

"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."

The reportable injury rate is the total number of injuries reportable to the Federal Railroad Administration per 200,000 worker hours. UP said 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 the cars' destination.

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