Union Pacific Invests in World-Class Safety, Launches New Training

Go Home Safe_Craft professionals on front of locomotive | LR

The railroad implemented new policies and enhanced training for craft professionals across its 23-state network.

Union Pacific continues making progress towards its goal to be the best in safety, investing in people, enhancing infrastructure, transforming culture and harnessing the transformative power of technology.

The company’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being of its employees, customers, the environment and communities it serves is delivering tangible outcomes – In 2023, Union Pacific experienced zero work-related fatalities and a notable reduction in serious injuries compared to the previous year. Serious derailments on UP’s network also declined 26% in 2023 compared with 2019 while average maximum train length grew.

“We’ve implemented significant changes to our safety program,” said Rod Doerr, vice president and chief safety officer. “To be the best in safety, we must identify potential risks and take action to mitigate them.”

To cultivate a safety-focused mindset within teams, Union Pacific implemented new policies and enhanced training for craft professionals across the railroad’s 23-state network.

The Journey to World-Class Safety training in Sparks, NV | MR

Transportation team members Kary Cluck, superintendent-Train Operations, and Jeff Collins, senior manager-Train Operations, recently led fellow railroaders through The Journey to World-Class Safety training in Sparks, Nevada.

“Safety isn’t just about what the railroad’s doing; it’s about what an individual is doing and what’s on their mind,” said Kary Cluck, superintendent-Train Operations. “We all have things going on at home, but when we’re at work, we can’t be distracted.”

The Journey to World-Class Safety training sessions includes face-to-face coaching and engagement with local Operating leaders who emphasize the importance of embracing safety as a core value.

More than 3,300 Transportation craft professionals have embarked on the journey since its January 2024 launch.

Participants focus on Union Pacific’s Go Home Safe choices and related critical Operating Rules – five for Mechanical, six for Engineering and 12 for Train, Engine and Yard employees.

Cluck recently led a class for 10 craft professionals in Sparks, Nevada, focusing on risk identification and making safe choices to prevent serious incidents and injuries.

“We don’t want anybody to get hurt,” Cluck said. “It’s about getting everybody on the same page with our expectations for safety.”

Read how Rod Doerr’s attitude toward safety was influenced by personal incidents early in his railroading career.

Did You Know? More than half of Union Pacific’s $3.7 billion capital improvement budget in 2023 was earmarked for infrastructure replacement and maintenance, including the annual replacement of more than 3 million railroad ties and over 400 miles of rail.

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