take the time at your next briefing to share this video with
your folks. This is a strong reminder of how a moments lapse
in attention can have catastrophic consequences. In this
case the SSYD Mechanical Department employee involved was
lucky to have only suffered bumps and bruises. Just one more
step to his right and the story may have ended on a more
tragic note. He was lucky.
something we seem to have used a lot of lately. We have had
an alarming number of Rule Violations, close calls and
serious injuries so far this year. After each we could
reflect on what happened and say “Wow, we were lucky that
wasn’t worse.” But luck is a finite resource. Eventually it
Historically we are now in the most dangerous months of the
year for Railroaders. The Holidays can be a distraction.
Cold weather gear restricts movement, vision and hearing to
some extent. The weather itself will be getting bad.
Although we must always remember how dangerous a place the
railroad is I implore you to amp it up. There is no room for
complacency at work. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a high
speed track, a 5mph yard track, as was the case in the
video, or off the ROW entirely. Stay alert. The Rules
protect you. Use them.
leader or a co-worker don’t accept or ignore bad work habits
or dangerous shortcuts by your fellow employees. Taking the
easy route will probably work for you/them 99 out of 100
times. But eventually it will prove disastrous. Having been
doing this myself now for 39 years the only universal truth
on the railroad can be found in “Murphy’s Law”.
(“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”)
last few years we have been flooded with new and
inexperienced employees. They can’t possibly understand yet
how dangerous a place the railroad environment is. Those of
us who have been here a while need to teach them. Need to
show them our good habits….NEVER the bad!
What we do
for a living is not a joke. It is not a profession that
anyone can do. It requires a high degree of training,
intelligence, expertise, common sense, FOCUS and commitment.
If you know your job, practice it with professionalism,
watch out for your brothers and sisters, raise up the new
employees and keep them safe, maintain a safe infrastructure
and serve our customers than you are a special breed and you
need to carry yourself with pride. A non-railroader can
never understand what it takes. What is sacrificed. Those
with normal jobs are ignorant to the dangers and
complexities we may unfortunately take for granted at times.
nothing for granted. If you do you are not only placing
yourself in danger you are also endangering your co-workers,
friends and customers. Yes….this is the most dangerous time
of the year statistically and we need to be cognizant of
that fact every minute of our shift. But, all of the dangers
I’ve mentioned and that all of you are well aware of are
omni-present. Never lose focus ever.
I wish all
of you a happy, safe and healthy holiday season. I also wish
for you a happy, safe and healthy career. Being safe isn’t