Union Pacific's Heartland Team Wins Its First-Ever Safety Bell

Heartland craft professionals stand with the Safety Bell. | LR

Heartland craft professionals stand proudly with the Safety Bell.

Union Pacific's Heartland Service Unit recently claimed its first Safety Bell, the Operating Department's highest annual team safety honor awarded to the service unit with the best overall safety record.

“Safety doesn’t happen by accident,” said Coleman Bell, general manager-Transportation, Heartland Service Unit. “Heartland craft professionals have created a culture of openness, committing to safety as a value.”

Several teams within the service unit achieved injury-free records of one year or more, and some regional teams achieved even longer records: Enid, Oklahoma, and Salina, Kansas (three years); Dalhart, Texas, and Vaughn, New Mexico (five years); Herington, Kansas (six years).

“My Heartland teammates and I look out for one another – what affects one of us, affects all of us,” said Harold Brooks IV, brakeperson. “One small shortcut or mistake can have a huge impact, so covering each other’s backs is essential in ensuring a safe workday.”

The Heartland team’s safety commitment is evident during job briefings, peer feedback, COMMIT debriefs, recognition and training. As Union Pacific’s continues to enhance its systemwide safety culture, training plays a valuable role – more than 85 employees recently participated in Union Pacific’s new full-day craft professional training, focusing on ‘Go Home Safe’ rules and the How We Win Together experience.

“After participating, I have a clearer understanding of the ‘Go Home Safe’ rules – the open dialogue and knowledge is especially important for our newer employees,” said Jason Martinez, conductor. “And How We Win Together highlighted how important it is to safely provide great customer service, increasing opportunities to gain more business.”

Additional sessions will be held across the network for all craft professionals this year.

Union Pacific’s previous Safety Bell winner, the Commuter Operations Service Unit, held the title for seven consecutive years (2016 – 2022). 

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