Union Pacific Sets New Systemwide Safety Record

The Omaha-based company reported it is the safest Class 1 railroad in the United States, based on its 2015 reportable injury rate.

Union Pacific Railroad in 2015 set a new systemwide record for the lowest all-time reportable personal injury rate, improving by 11 percent from 2014 to 0.87. According to the company, this makes UP the safest Class 1 railroad in the United States, according to data reported by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The railroad employs more than 40,000 people and operates in 23 states.

And the railroad's Twin Cities Service Unit, which includes about 1,700 miles of track across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, reported 21 percent fewer railroad crossing incidents in 2015 versus 2014 and also reduced its reportable employee injury rate by 75 percent, from 1.69 in 2014 to 0.43 in 2015, according to the company's March 23 announcement. A railroad's reportable injury rate is the total number of injuries reported to FRA per 200,000 employee hours, which is equivalent to 100 employees working a full year.

"Employees are committed to safety as our No. 1 priority," said Erik Erickson, the Twin Cities service unit's superintendent. "They are dedicated to working safely, keeping their peers safe and educating their communities how to behave safely around railroad tracks." Many employees in the unit took a Courage to Care personal pledge that represents personal accountability and strengthens the degree to which every employee prioritizes safety as an issue, and Twin Cities employees also focused in 2015 on "taking a minute" in every action to consider its impact on themselves, their employees, and their communities. "Investing the time to think about why they come to work each day lead employees to focus on their friends and families – the people they want to return home safely to at the end of their work day – and motivated them to work even more safely," Erickson said.

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