- THE MAGAZINE
Union Pacific Railroad's 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 best of 1.15 established in 2011. From 2002-2012, Union Pacific employees improved their reportable injury rate by 58 percent.
A company's reportable injury rate is the total number of injuries reportable to the Federal Railroad Administration per 200,000 worker hours, which is equivalent to 100 employees working a full year.
"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."
What follows are the company's individual service unit results:
- Twin Cities Service Unit achieved a 70 percent improvement in 2012 compared to 2011 with an employee reportable injury rate of 0.56. The Twin Cities Service Unit has about 900 employees and is made up of more than 650 miles of track in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa.
- Commuter Operations achieved a 43 percent improvement in 2012 compared to 2011 with an employee reportable injury rate of 0.53. Commuter Operations has approximately 1,200 employees and is made up of more than 150 miles of track in the Chicago area.
- Chicago Service Unit achieved a 33 percent improvement in 2012 compared to 2011 with an employee reportable injury rate of 1.41. The Chicago Service Unit has more than 3,800 employees and is made up of more than 650 miles of track in northern and west central Illinois and eastern Wisconsin.
- Council Bluffs Service Unit achieved a 41 percent improvement in 2012 compared to 2011 with an employee reportable injury rate of 0.76. The Council Bluffs Service Unit has approximately 1,300 employees and is made up of nearly 640 miles of track in eastern Nebraska and across Iowa, with an additional rail line in northwestern Iowa.
- North Platte Service Unit achieved a 12 percent improvement in 2012 compared to 2011 with an employee reportable injury rate of 0.84. The North Platte Service Unit has approximately 3,000 employees and covers nearly 935 miles of track in most of Nebraska, eastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado and north eastern Kansas.
Union Pacific utilizes innovative technology to improve employee safety, as well. For example, 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 rail car destination. This video simulation technology gives employees an opportunity to practice what they have learned in the classroom before they work outside in the real-world rail yard.